Federal Judge Richard W. Roberts has denied a motion to dismiss a major suit claiming the Japanese manufacturer Toyobo sold millions of dollars of defective bulletproof vests.
Dr. Aaron Westrick filed the suit under the Federal False Claims Act in 2004, and the U.S. government formally joined the suit in 2005. The suit alleges that Toyobo conspired with Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. to sell defective body armor made of Toyobo's Zylon material.
Thousands of vests were sold to police departments across the United States and the federal government. One police officer was killed and others were injured as a result of the use of defective Zylon in vests. The suit alleges that Toyobo and the companies who sold these vests knew about Zylon defects and concealed this information from their customers. The full text of a press release by the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC), with links to key documents, follows in the continuation of this blog entry.