Jury Finds in Favor of Murphy Anderson Clients in International False Claims Act Case

August 5, 2011

Murphy Anderson clients, German whistleblower Kurt Bunk and American whistleblower Ray Ammons, won a jury verdict after a 3-week trial against Belgian moving and transport giant Gosselin Worldwide Moving and affiliated companies. The case involved false claims related to a bid-rigging scheme among various European and American moving companies with contracts to move the personal property of American military personnel, including both moves within Germany and across the Atlantic.

The jury verdict was rendered on intervened and non-intervened claims in favor of the Relators and the United States in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, Virginia before Judge Anthony Trenga. The case was filed by Murphy Anderson’s Ann Lugbill and Mark Hanna in 2002 and is the oldest of the cases on the Virginia federal court's "rocket docket," a court famed for moving cases along swiftly.

Based on various stipulations, judicial pretrial rulings, and the jury's verdict, the damages will be based on the total number of false claims, which is over 13,000.

The Relators' trial team was Richard Greenberg and John Petite of the Greensfelder law firm in St. Louis, Missouri and Mark Hanna of Murphy Anderson. Assisting were Ann Lugbill of Murphy Anderson and Washington, DC attorney Tom Stanton. Michael T. Anderson developed many of the legal theories, including those that perfected legal service of foreign defendants. Michelle Woolley assisted in local counsel duties, including the filing of many of the over 1000 docket entries.

The DOJ and Relators worked closely together throughout the litigation; there were multiple prior settlements since 2008 with dozens of German and American defendant moving companies. The case required the review and translation of thousands of German documents. Depositions were conducted and statements taken in both the US and Europe.