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defense 7 articles

U.S. government joins whistleblower complaint against technology contractor

The federal government has filed a complaint against information technology contractor CA. Inc. for violations of the False Claims Act, accusing the company of intentionally overcharging the government for its products and services over the course of several years. The government’s lawsuit was prompted by another complaint brought by a former CA employee who filed a lawsuit against the company under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The U.S. government contracted CA in September 2002 to provide software licenses, maintenance, training, and consulting services to the U.S. Departments of Defense, Energy, Health And Human Services, and Labor. According ... Read More

Psychiatric side effects of anti-malaria drug may be used to sway jury in soldier sentencing

The attorney for a U.S. soldier who killed 16 Afghan civilians in 2012 says his client took an anti-malaria medication used for years by the U.S. military before carrying out the mass murder. The drug has been linked to psychiatric problems that could serve as a defense for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales during a sentencing hearing next month, during which jurors will decide whether Bales should receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole or be eligible for consideration to be released from prison. Mefloquine is a drug used to prevent malaria or treat mild to moderate ... Read More

Defense Department bill institutes better protections for whistleblowers

An estimated 12 million people who receive federal grants and contracts will now also receive whistle-blower protections and legal recourse under a new defense bill sent to President Barack Obama in December. The $633-billion bill, which passed the Senate 81-14, covers the cost of aircraft, ships, weapons, military personnel, Energy Department nuclear defense programs, and the war in Afghanistan. It also contains provisions that would help protect these federal funds against fraud and waste while offering whistle blowers better protections in reporting abuse. Under the new bill, workers who are fired or harassed for reporting fraud, waste, abuse, and ethical ... Read More

Minnesota man freed from prison in Camry sudden acceleration case

A Minnesota judge has freed Loua Fong Lee, a Southeast Asian immigrant and father of four who was convicted in 2007 of criminal vehicular homicide after his 1996 Toyota Camry sped out of control and crashed into another vehicle, killing three people. Ramsey County District Court Judge Joanne Smith ordered Lee free from prison on Thursday pending a new trial. Ramsey County Prosecutor Susan Gaertner, however, immediately announced she would drop the charges against Lee. “Mr. Lee will be a free man,” Gaertner said in a written statement. Lee, 32, has steadfastly maintained his innocence all along, saying that his Camry ... Read More

Toyota sudden acceleration defect may exonerate imprisoned man

If ever there were a case for the “never should have happened” file, it would be the story of Koua Fong Lee, who immigrated to the United States from his Hmong tribe in Southeast Asia shortly before he lost of control of his 1996 Camry and caused a devastating crash in Minnesota. On June 10, 2006, Lee was traveling along Interstate 94 in St. Paul on his way home from church. In the car with him were his expectant wife, 4-year-old daughter, brother and father. Just before exiting, Lee’s Camry accelerated drastically to speeds of 70-90 miles per hour, ultimately ... Read More

NHTSA says Toyota’s violations amount to $13.8 billion, may face second fine

Why did the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration slap Toyota with the maximum allowable civil penalty of $16.375 million for its failure to promptly notify the federal agency of a potential safety defect in 2.3 million cars? Was this fine, by far the largest ever imposed by the NHTSA against a car maker,  justified? According to NHTSA, if it weren’t for the $16-million-plus statutory cap, which was enacted in 2006, Toyota would have owed the federal government $13.8 billion for its failure to comply with U.S. regulations. That’s because under federal law, car manufacturers should be fined $6000 per violation. ... Read More

AP investigation finds Toyota uses dishonest legal defense tactics

An Associated Press investigation has uncovered numerous examples that Toyota has relied on highly evasive, deceptive, and unethical legal tactics when defending itself against a spectrum of claims in court. The AP investigation involved an examination of lawsuits filed against Toyota throughout in the country in the past decade. The AP reviewed dozens of lawsuits that involve a range of allegations. The records show that in addition to sudden acceleration claims, Toyota has been sued for vehicle rollovers and poor roof strength, defective air bags, faulty transmissions, and braking problems. Many of the verdicts that favored Toyota in the past ... Read More