Takata Whistleblower Exposes Defective Airbags
A Takata whistleblower will receive $1.13 million for information provided to the U.S. government in its criminal case against Takata. Takata is the now-bankrupt maker of defective airbags. These airbags exploded and claimed the lives of 22 people. Also, it set off a worldwide recall of nearly 100 million airbag inflators.
About the Whistleblower Statute
In 1863 to combat fraud in Union contracts during the Civil War, Congress passed the Whistleblower or Qui Tam statute. It was not until 1986 before Congress modernized the Whistleblower statute and renamed it to the False Claims Act (FCA). It became the government’s primary tool to combat fraud. Individuals who report government-program fraud bring the lawsuit on behalf of the government.
After Congressional hearings on Takata, Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) co-sponsored and led Congress to enact the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act of 2015. That law offers monetary rewards to auto-industry insiders who report serious safety violations. The program allows auto-industry employees or contractors who report serious violations of federal vehicle-safety laws to receive between from 10 percent to 30 percent of any monetary sanction over $1 million. Lillie and the second whistleblower submitted tips under the law.
The whistleblowers is a former Takata employee. He provided extensive assistance to government investigators under the newly enacted Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act. This is a federal whistleblower-reward program. The information he supplied to the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was vital in prosecuting Takata and also bringing justice and compensation to Takata’s victims.
The whistleblower resigned from his position as a top-level engineer in 2001. This was after he warned Takata executives countless times that the company’s airbags would kill motorists. Then, he felt he had to resign in protest after Takata switched to a lethal and cheaper propellant to inflate its airbags, ammonium nitrate. This is the same explosive compound used in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Before he left, the whistleblower saved crucial emails, designs, witness lists, and other imperative information that helped steer the criminal case. He will receive $1.3 million for his information.
In January 2017, Takata pled guilty to wire fraud and agreed to pay $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company’s fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators. The criminal action also resulted in three high-level Takata executives pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges.
Premier Complex Litigation Attorneys
The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has successfully represented thousands of consumers and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Also, many have recognized our team of attorneys as some of the most experienced and successful in the country. Many firms seek out our award-winning staff for our knowledge of complex litigation, scientific evidence development, negotiation strategies and trial tactics.
Most of all, our law office will use any resources to pursuing any compensation. Because of this, we have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, such as inclusion on numerous Plaintiff Steering Committees. We will take whatever legal measures are necessary when fighting for your rights to damages.
Therefore, if you believe you have uncovered evidence of fraud involving a government-funded program, contact us today. Our attorneys have represented many clients in the past with complex cases. We will work tirelessly to obtain results on your behalf.