Massachusetts Bows Out of Whistleblower Case

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced the commonwealth’s decision not to intervene in the case, in papers filed June 8 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Massachusetts was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by whistle-blower John Hendrix, a former JM Eagle employee who argues the pipe maker knowingly made substandard PVC water and sewer pipe for years. Massachusetts joins attorneys generals in California and Florida—as well as the U.S. Justice Department—who have decided not to join the whistle-blower suit.However, citing Massachusetts’ law, the court filing allows Hendrix to maintain the action in the name of the commonwealth, and it gives guidelines for dismissal. Massachusetts also retains the right to intervene in the case later, “upon a showing of good cause.”Hendrix filed his whistle-blower suit in 2006, but it was kept under seal until becoming public Feb. 8 of this year, unleashing a flurry of media reports.JM Eagle released a sworn statement from a former plant manager that he denies saying the company tool measures that intentionally compromised the quality of its pipe—as stated in the whistle-blower suit. These were filed as False Claims Act cases. Sources: press releases