The whistle blower had amended his allegations 5 times. He wanted to amend it once more. The judge dismissed the allegations saying they were did not lack substance and were too generalistic.
In a major development, defence giant Raytheon Co has won a lawsuit against a whistle blower who had alleged that the defense contractor had overbilled the U.S. government on a contract for satellite sensors.
U.S. District Judge Otis Wright in Los Angeles ruled that Steven Mateski, an engineer who worked for Raytheon from 1997 to 2006, failed to adequately substantiate his allegation that Waltham, Massachusetts-based Raytheon had submitted a false claim or that its actions were material to the government’s payment decisions.
Raytheon did not immediately respond to a request for comment while a lawyer for Mateski also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mateski had alleged Raytheon of mismanaging a sub-contract to develop a weather sensor for the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), whose primary contractor was Northrop Grumman Corp.
In March 2016, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that Mateski’s allegations went beyond known problems in developing the NPOESS, which suffered from delays and cost overruns, and overturned Wright’s dismissal of the case three years earlier.
In Thursday’s ruling however, Wright said Mateski’s fraud allegations were too generalist in nature, and his “barebones” allegations regarding materiality also required dismissal.
Wright pointed to Raytheon’s counterargument that any alleged misrepresentations were not material to the government’s payment decisions, given how the government kept paying its invoices long after being alerted to alleged suspect claims.
Significantly, Mateski had amended his complaint five times, and Wright stated he would not permit a sixth amended to the complaint.
As per the False Claims Act, whistleblowers can pursue claims on behalf of the government and share in recoveries.
In 2012, the United States decided not to help Mateski pursue his case.