United Technologies Corporation said it would appeal the decision from a U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio that found the company liable for more than $473 million in damages and penalties for making false claims about the price of fighter jet engines it sold the Air Force.
The Connecticut-based UTC sold engines for the F-15 and F-16 aircraft to the Air Force between 1985 and 1990.
The government alleged that UTC’s proposed prices for the engine contract misrepresented how it calculated the cost of supplies. The result: the government paid hundreds of millions more than it otherwise would have paid for the engines. More specifically, the government alleged that UTC failed to include discounts from suppliers in the price of the engines and used outdated information that excluded such discounts.
“We strongly disagree with the court’s opinion concerning the Fighter Engine Campaign from the 1980’s. We will be appealing,” a UTC spokesman said Thursday.
Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Stuart Delery said the government will “relentlessly pursue justice against those who knowingly submit false claims.”
“It is vital that companies who do business with the government provide full and accurate information, and if they do not, they will pay the consequences,” Delery said in a press release.
The government filed suit against UTC in 1999 under the False Claims Act and those claims were tried, without a jury, in 2004. An initial decision by the district court in 2008 found UTC liable under the False Claims Act, but did not award any damages. That decision was appealed by both the government and UTC. In 2010, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that UTC was liable under the False Claims Act, but reversed and remanded the case to the district court to recalculate the government’s damages and to reconsider the government’s common law claims.