Tonight, CBS News will air a special one hour broadcast on Dr. Aaron Westrick, the whistleblower who exposed unsafe bullet proof vests sold to hundreds of local police departments, the U.S. military and Secret Service. The show, Whistleblower, will highlight Dr. Westrick’s 14-year qui tam lawsuit against the manufacturers of faulty bulletproof vests made with the fabric Zylon. Westrick was represented by qui tam attorney Stephen M. Kohn founding partner in Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, a law firm which primarily litigates qui tam actions. Kohn also serves as the pro bono Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center.
Westrick and Kohn went up against Japanese Fiber Manufacturer Toyobo and Second Chance Body Armor, the largest body armor manufacturer in the U.S. at the time, in a False Claims Act case that lasted 14 years. The qui tam lawsuit resulted in the United States recouping millions of taxpayer dollars, Toyobo alone paying $66 million to resolve claims of fraud brought by Westrick.
Westrick was honored during at a National Whistleblower Day ceremonies. On July 30, 2018 Senator Charles Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, highlighted the Westrick case as an example of how citizen-whistleblowers can hold powerful corporations accountable and save lives. C-SPAN covered the event, and Senator Grassley’s speech, along with those of Kohn and Westrick, can be viewed on-line. Westrick was also awarded the prestigious Frank Wills and Martha Mitchell Pillar Award for Whistleblowers and Unsung Heroes in recognition of his courage.
Whistleblower will air Friday, August 17 at 10/9c on CBS. If you miss the show, it can be viewed online at https://www.cbs.com/shows/whistleblower/.
To learn more about Dr. Westrick’s case visit his whistleblower page.