Feds Intervene in False Claims Lawsuit Against Energy & Process Corporation

The government has intervened in a False Claims Act lawsuit against Energy & Process Corporation (E&P), of Tucker, Georgia, alleging that E&P knowingly failed to perform required quality assurance procedures and supplied defective steel reinforcing bars (rebar) in connection with a contract to construct a Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear waste treatment facility.

The lawsuit alleges that although the Department of Energy paid E&P a premium to supply rebar that met stringent regulatory standards for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication and Reactor Irradiation Services facility in the DOE’s Savannah River site near Aiken, South Carolina, E&P failed to perform most of the necessary quality assurance measures, while falsely certifying that those requirements had been met.

The lawsuit further alleges that one-third of the rebar supplied by E&P and used in the construction was found to be defective.

The lawsuit was filed by Deborah Cook, a former employee of the prime contractor building the Department of Energy facility, under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act.

Under the act, private citizens can bring suit on behalf of the government for false claims and share in any recovery.

The act permits the government to intervene in such lawsuits, as it has done in this case. Defendants found liable under the act are subject to treble damages and penalties.

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