Everyone in the line of fire needs body armor these days, even the dogs. The problem is, manufacturers keep making shoddy body armor–and ripping off taxpayers in the process. In particularly disgraceful fashion, a body armor manufacturer allegedly sold a fabric called Zylon to the government to protect law enforcement officers and service members–all the while knowing that the material was defective.
Lincoln Fabrics Ltd., a Canadian company (visit its website and see how it touts the military applications of its products), wove the fabric which was used in the manufacture of vests sold by several companies. The government alleged that Zylon degraded quickly, especially in hot and humid conditions, and that Lincoln knew about the problems as early as 2001 but continued to manufacture and sell the fabric until 2005. At that point, the National Institute of Justice issued a report detailing Zylon’s degradability, and its use was stopped.
Lincoln will pay the government $4 million to settle the lawsuit, and it joins several other scurrilous members of the body armor industry that have gotten themselves entangled in False Claims Act lawsuits based on their use of Zylon. The U.S. has already settled with some companies for $54 million, and the hits keep on coming. There are lawsuits pending against Toyobo Co., Honeywell Inc., Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. and First Choice Armor Inc.
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