On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, The Department of Justice announced that Bollinger Shipyards agreed to settle a False Claims Act suit in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The suit alleges that Bollinger misrepresented the longitudinal strength of patrol boats it was contracted to deliver to the Coast Guard. This misrepresentation resulted in the Coast Guard patrol boats buckling and failing while in service.
In 2002, the U.S. Coast Guard contracted to lengthen the Coast Guard’s standing fleet of 110 foot patrol boats to 123 feet and make other adjustments. Bollinger was the subcontractor that made the 123 foot patrol boat design and modification work. One of the key elements of the conversion was that the modified boats needed to have appropriate longitudinal strength to meet performance requirements outlined in the contract. The United States allege Bollinger ran the calculations three times and provided the Coast Guard with the highest and most incorrect calculation. The United States further alleges that Bollinger failed to follow quality assurance procedures mandated by the contract.
The matter was handled jointly by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The case caption is United States v. Bollinger Shipyards, et al. Case No. 2:12-cv-00920 (E.D. La.). There has been no determination of liability; the claims resolved in the settlement are only allegations.