Chief Judge Timothy J. Corrigan of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted Robbins Russell’s motion to dismiss on behalf of its client, Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding (“NNS”). NNS faced a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that it and co-defendant General Dynamics Electric Boat had violated the False Claims Act (“FCA”) by failing to appropriately audit and inspect pipe fittings provided by a subcontractor, Nuflo, Inc. According to the qui tam relator’s allegations, NNS’s supposedly deficient oversight allowed defective pipe fittings to be installed on aircraft carriers and Virginia-class submarines built by NNS for the U.S. Navy.
In dismissing the complaint with prejudice, Chief Judge Corrigan agreed with Robbins Russell that the Complaint against NNS did not plead its claims with the particularity required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b). The relator failed to provide the specifics of any false claim to the Navy and did not allege any “specific billing invoices, billing dates, records of billing, or even which Defendant submitted bills” to the Navy. As a corporate outsider with no knowledge of NNS billing practices, the relator also could not demonstrate the first-hand knowledge relating to the submission of false claims necessary to make up for the deficiencies in its complaint.
Robbins Russell partners Michael Waldman and Lee Friedman, along with counsel Hunter Smith and associates John Goerlich and Carolyn Forstein, represented NNS in this matter. This victory comes on the heels of Robbins Russell’s other recent FCA wins, including an earlier win for NNS and the dismissal of a $385 million FCA claim against Community Health Systems, Inc. For more information visit our False Claims Act Litigation practice area page.
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