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United States ex rel. Folliard v. Govplace

United States District Court, District of Columbia

March 18, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ex rel. BRADY FOLLIARD, Relator,
v.
GOVPLACE, Defendant

For BRADY FOLLIARD, ex rel UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff: H. Vincent McKnight, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, MCKNIGHT & KENNEDY, LLC, Silver Spring, MD; Richard Kellner, PRO HAC VICE, Kabeteck Brown Kellner, LLP, Los Angeles, CA.

For GOVERNMENT ACQUISITIONS, INC., Defendant: H. Vincent McKnight, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, MCKNIGHT & KENNEDY, LLC, Silver Spring, MD; John M. Murdock, LEAD ATTORNEY, BENTON POTTER & MURDOCK, P.C., Falls Church, VA; Rosanne E. Stafiej, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kathy C. Potter, BENTON, POTTER & MURDOCK, P.C., Washington, DC.

For GOV PLACE, Defendant: Jonathan S. Aronie, LEAD ATTORNEY, FRIED, FRANK, HARRIS, SHRIVER & JACOBSON, Washington, DC; Christopher Michael Loveland, SHEPPARD, MULLIN, RICHTER & HAMPTON LLP, Washington, DC.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ex rel, Movant: Laurie J. Weinstein, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 124

Royce C. Lamberth, Chief United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the Court on supplemental briefing relating to defendant Govplace's motion for summary judgment. Govplace's Supp. Mem. ISO its Mot. Summ. J. (" Govplace's Supp. Mem." ), Sept. 25, 2012, ECF No. 168; Relator's Supp. Mem. ISO its Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. (" Rel.'s Supp. Mem." ), Sept. 25, 2012, ECF No. 169. Upon consideration of the

Page 125

parties' supplemental briefs, the defendant's prior motion for summary judgment, Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., Nov. 4, 2011, ECF No. 126, the opposition and rely thereto, and the record herein, the Court will grant Govplace summary judgment for the four product numbers in dispute. This resolves all remaining claims in this matter, and the Court will dismiss the case with prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

Relator Brady Folliard initiated this qui tam suit pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § § 3729-3733 (" FCA" ). Folliard's complaint alleged that eight named defendants listed for sale and sold products under government contracts from non-designated countries, in violation of the Trade Agreements Act (" TAA" ), 19 U.S.C. § § 2501-2581. The TAA requires federal contractors to sell products made in designated countries--such as Japan or the United States--and generally prohibits federal contractors from selling goods made in non-designated countries, such as China. All eight defendants filed motions to dismiss, which the Court granted as to six of the defendants. See generally United States ex rel. Folliard v. Synnex Corp., 798 F.Supp.2d 66 (D.D.C. 2011).

Two defendants remained: Government Acquisitions and Govplace. After two summary judgment opinions, the Court dismissed all claims against Government Acquisitions, and most claims against Govplace. See generally United States ex rel. Folliard v. Government Acquisitions, Inc. (" Gov't Acq. I " ), 858 F.Supp.2d 79 (D.D.C. 2012); United States ex rel. Folliard v. Government Acquisitions, Inc. (" Gov't Acq. II " ), 880 F.Supp.2d 36 (D.D.C. 2012).

In his Second Amended Complaint, Folliard alleges that Govplace knowingly listed for sale 23--and sold ten--products that originated in non-designated countries. Sec. Am. Compl. ¶ ¶ 117-18, Oct. 13, 2012, ECF No. 37. The Complaint listed four Counts. The Court dismissed Folliard's claims--under Counts III and IV (Second Am. Compl. ¶ ¶ 138-51)--alleging a TAA violation based on the defendant's listing of products for sale. The Court held that improper product listings unconnected with a sale are not actionable. Gov't Acq. I, 858 F.Supp.2d at 85. Folliard's Counts I and II alleged that Govplace violated the FCA by selling products from non-designated countries. Second Am. Compl. ¶ ¶ 134-41. Since Congress amended the FCA during the period covered by the Complaint, Folliard brought two separate counts--for sales occurring before the effective date of the FCA amendment, and another for those occurring thereafter. Id. Since none of ...


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