US court dismisses $1bn satellite lawsuit against Raytheon


A US court has dismissed a $1bn whistleblower lawsuit filed against Raytheon for allegedly overbilling the government over a satellite sensor contract.

This verdict comes 1.5 years after a federal appeals court revived the False Claims Act case initially filed in 2006, reported Reuters.

The case was filed by Steven Mateski, an engineer who worked for Raytheon between 1997 and 2006.

"The court’s latest verdict was given after it found that the allegations were general and his charges about the materiality warranted dismissal."

In his verdict, US District judge Otis Wright said that Mateski failed to effectively establish his allegation that Raytheon submitted a false bill, which is claimed to have affected the government’s payment decision.

According to the engineer, Raytheon has mishandled a subcontract to build a weather sensor for the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). Northrop Grumman was the main contractor for this project, reported Reuters.

Last March, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Mateski’s claims had gone beyond the known issues in developing the satellite system, which was impacted by delays and overruns in costs, and consequently overturned the engineer’s dismissal of the lawsuit three years before.

However, the court’s latest verdict was given after it found that the allegations were general and his charges about the materiality warranted dismissal.

Mateski has so far amended his complaint five times, but the court has prevented him from making a sixth amended complaint.

Cases filed under False Claims Act enable whistleblowers to pursue claims on behalf of the government. In 2012, the US Government decided not to help Mateski in his case against Raytheon.