Washington, D.C. July 16, 2018. A final settlement has been reached in the qui tam whistleblower suit brought by Dr. Aaron Westrick against the Michigan-based Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that former Second Chance president and CEO Richard C. Davis, agreed to pay the government $125,000 to settle claims related to the False Claims Act suit filed against Second Chance.
This is the final chapter in a long and heated legal battle in which Second Chance was alleged to have conspired with the Japanese maker to Zylon, a fabric used to manufacturer bullet-proof vest, to sell the unsafe vests to American police departments, federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. military. Since exposing the defects of Zylon vests in 2001, Dr. Westrick’s whistleblowing has saved officers lives and recovered to the U.S. over $132 million.
According to the DOJ’s press release, testing of vests made with Zylon “found that more than 50 percent of used vests could not stop bullets that they had been certified to stop. The performance of Second Chance Zylon vests were reported to be among the worst.”
“The Department of Justice will pursue those who attempt to fraudulently profit at the expense of the United States, particularly when the stakes are life or death,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. “Bullet proof vests protect the brave men and women of our nation’s law enforcement community, and those who manufacture and sell these products have a solemn duty to ensure their safety and efficacy.”
“Dr. Westrick’s case is proof that whistleblower rewards are the key for the detection of fraud,” said his attorney Stephen M. Kohn.
Dr. Westrick, who is a former employee of Second Chance, will receive a whistleblower reward of $28,750 from this settlement. In March 2018, Dr. Westrick received over $5 million from the government’s $66 million settlement with Toyobo.