An Illinois federal judge on Monday refused to allow KBR to appeal his decision keeping intact its former employees' False Claims Act accusations of buying excess supplies under a Middle East logistics contract, finding that the earlier ruling was not based on a contestable legal theory.
U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm knocked down KBR's contentions that his mid-October ruling refusing to dismiss the suit was really based on the contestable and purely legal theory that the contractor falsely certified reasonable expenses to the government by implication. If it had, KBR might have been able to contest the ruling to the Seventh Circuit based on a quick legal question, but Judge Mihm said that wasn't the case.
In refusing to toss the case in the fall, Judge Mihm had found the whistleblowers had adequately alleged KBR kept a fragmented inventory management system for tracking and storing supplies, equipment and materials that allowed the contractor to rack up hundreds of millions of dollars of wasteful and excessive purchases on the government’s dime.
The whistleblowers are represented by David J. Chizewer, Frederic R. Klein, Amanda G. Penabad and William Kyle Walther of Goldberg Kohn Ltd., Eric R. Havian of Constantine Cannon LLP, and Edward H. Arens of Phillips & Cohen LLP.