Court of Appeals Overturns $663 Million Federal False Claims Act Jury Verdict

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The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Trinity Industries and overturned a $663 million federal False Claims Act jury verdict from 2014.  As argued by Ethan Shaw at the trial of the case, the appeals court concluded there was no fraud committed on the government by Trinity since the government continuously approved and reimbursed states for the guardrail systems after the alleged changes to the guardrail systems were known.  “When the government, at appropriate levels, repeatedly concludes that it has not been defrauded, it is not forgiving a found fraud — rather it is concluding that there was no fraud at all,” Circuit Judge Patrick Higginbotham wrote in a unanimous 42-page decision reversing the jury’s findings. Harman v. Trinity Industries, 15-41172, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (New Orleans).