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Federal judge dismisses whistleblower suit against Rolls-Royce

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A federal judge in Indianapolis has dismissed a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former Rolls-Royce Corp. engineer who accused the company of selling faulty aircraft engine parts to the government.

Judge Sarah Evans Barker on Monday sided with London-based Rolls-Royce, which employs about 4,500 people in Indianapolis, on its motion to dismiss the case.

Curtis Lusby, who worked as a senior project engineer at the Indianapolis Rolls-Royce aircraft engine plant until 2001, accused the company of violating the False Claims Act by selling parts to the government that it knew did not regularly meet contractual specifications and requirements.

The parts were used in the T56 turboprop engine developed in the 1950s, one of the longest-serving engines in the military’s fleet.

Barker said in her ruling that Lusby failed to prove the accusations because he provided no evidence that Rolls-Royce ever sold a defective part to the government.

“At this late stage in this litigation, mere assumptions and speculation are insufficient to carry the day,” Barker wrote. “In the oft-used phrase, summary judgment is the ‘put up or shut up’ moment in a lawsuit.”

Lusby instead argued that Rolls-Royce should bear the burden of proof that it had not violated the law because it was responsible for the flaws.

But Barker said Lusby was unable to provide previous cases to support his argument.

In a prepared statement, Rolls-Royce said it is pleased with the ruling, which confirms that Lusby’s claims had no merit.

The case had been winding its way through the federal court system for years. Lusby first sued Rolls-Royce in May 2003. After two of his lawyers withdrew from the case at different times, he filed amended complaints in 2006 and 2007.

U.S. District Court in Indianapolis dismissed his complaint. But the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in June 2009 reversed part of the judgment, returning it to the federal court in Indianapolis.

Rolls-Royce still faces a similar lawsuit in the same court filed by a former safety official charging that the company concealed repeated defects at the aircraft engine plant.

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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