Fed Judge Orders Trinity Industries to pay $683 million for fraud on guardrail defect

Federal Judge Rodney Gilstrap has ordered Trinity Industries tp pau $683 million in a whistleblower case that accused the company of defrauding Uncle Sam. The False Claims action was brought by Joshua Harman, a former competitor of Trinity, who said that Trinity committed fraud when it sold its popular guardrail system, ET-Plus, after making changes to the design without informing the Government. Harman alleged the new design was more prone to collapsing.

In October, a federal jury found for Harman and against Trinity, awarding $175 million which automatically triples when a case is proven. Pursuant to the False Claims Act, Harman will be able to keep 30% of the total or $199 million.

In addition, Bloomberg news has reported that the Department of Justice has started a criminal investigation of the company and its relationship t the FHWA.

Trinity is Dallas based, publicly traded and primarily builds rail cars. It has a highway subsidiary which makes guardrails.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.