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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

Whistleblowers' Case Against Rolls-Royce Moves Forward

Hannah Johnson, June 05, 2012

Rolls-Royce builds more than just swanky cars, but according to whistleblowers, other products aren't nearly as stellar.

Aside from being the go-to car of the wealthy, Rolls-Royce also builds airplane engines for the US Department of Defense (DoD). According to two former quality-control officers, however, the company is not building them very well. The two whistleblowers have filed suit against Rolls-Royce, alleging that the company failed to report defects within the engines and thereby defrauded the federal government. Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the case can proceed.

Specifically, the whistleblowers claim that the company skipped quality inspections, and used scrap parts and parts with known defects in production. According to the complaint, thousands of engines in military aircraft are potentially affected. Both whistleblowers have been allegedly retaliated against for their safety disclosures and were eventually forced out.

The case is filed on behalf of the government and seeks a financially penalty for each false claim made to the DoD. The two whistleblowers are seeking 30 percent of the recovery. Rolls-Royce had been asking for a dismissal of the case.

The Chicago-based firm Loevy & Loevy which GAP partners with on other cases, represents the clients. Stated L&L attorney Mike Kanovitz, “Rolls-Royce is finally out of options for avoiding these serious, safety-related allegations."

The case was first filed in 2008, although it was only unsealed in 2010. For the sake of the public, these kind of safety issues need to be addressed. By allowing this case to proceed, the judge ensured that Rolls-Royce will finally have to address the issue.


Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.