The United States Law Week

Rolls-Royce Avoids Airplane Parts False Claims Suit

Jan. 28, 2019, 8:15 PM

A citizen’s False Claims Act suit against Rolls-Royce North America Inc. concerning the sale of allegedly defective airplane parts to the U.S. Air Force was grounded by the Fifth Circuit.

George Gage claimed Rolls-Royce provided non-conforming, non-airworthy equipment to the Air Force by selling it used parts. It violated the FCA by submitting false invoices for payment, he said.

But Gage previously lost another suit concerning the same parts against other companies in the supply chain, the unpublished per curiam Jan. 28 opinion said.

Issue preclusion prevents this suit because the facts in the two suits are identical, the issues were actually litigated in the other suit, and the court’s determination of the issues was necessary to the judgment, the appeals court said.

Filing the same suit against different defendants in a piecemeal fashion is inefficient and wastes time and resources, the court said. It also encourages forum shopping and increases the chances of conflicting judgments, it said.

Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, and Judges Priscilla R Owen and Andrew S. Oldham were on the panel.

Walker, Bright & Lewis represented Gage. Barnes & Thornburg, L.L.P. represented Rolls-Royce.

The case is U.S. ex rel. Gage v. Rolls-Royce N. Am. Inc., 5th Cir., No. 18-50294, 1/28/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bernie Pazanowski in Washington at bpazanowski@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com

To read more articles log in. To learn more about a subscription click here.