[JURIST] The US Department of Justice filed a complaint [PDF, text; press release] Thursday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia against Honeywell International Inc. [corporate website], alleging that the company knowingly sold more than 1,700 defective bulletproof vests to US law enforcement and military agencies during a five-year period. The DOJ also accused Honeywell of hiding knowledge that its patented Zylon [NASA backgrounder] fabric, which was used in the vests, would deteriorate over time, alleging that Honeywell pressured vests manufacturer Armor Holdings [corporate website] not to warn customers of this defect. Honeywell has denied the allegations. AP has more.
The lawsuit comes as part of a larger investigation by several government agencies, including the FBI and the Army Criminal Investigative Division, into various companies involved in the manufacture and sale of the flawed vests. In April, the DOJ reached an agreement [Govpro report] with Protective Products International Inc. (PPI) [corporate website], wherein PPI agreed to pay $960 million and to cooperate with the ongoing investigation. In total, the US government spent approximately $20 million on faulty Zylon vests purchased from various vendors.