The latest motion in a False Claims Act case involving government contractor KBR and the improper purchase of supplies for U.S. operations in the Middle East was featured in Law360 on March 16th. The case is U.S. ex rel. Geoffrey Howard et al v. KBR Inc. et al, (4:11-cv-04022) before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. It was first unsealed in 2014 and attorneys at Goldberg Kohn, Constantine Cannon and Phillips & Cohen represent the relators, Geoffrey Howard and Zella Hemphill, who are former KBR employees.
The motion challenges KBR's bid to block the testimony of other former KBR employees by claiming improper privileges. "KBR is abusing the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine to control nonparty witnesses, giving them the veneer of 'independence' by choosing not to represent them," the relator's motion said. "In effect, KBR is controlling these witnesses as if they were clients."
The suit alleges that KBR defrauded the government by buying hundreds of millions of dollars in excess or duplicate supplies under a logistical support contract it obtained to serve U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. GK attorneys working on the case include Frederic Klein, David Chizewer, William Meyers, Danielle Johnson and W. Kyle Walther.