Manion v. Spectrum Healthcare Resources (Lawyers Weekly No. 13-02-0861, 8 pp.) (Terrence W. Boyle, J.) 7:12-cv-00247; E.D.N.C.
Holding: Since the Defense Contractor Whistleblower Protection Act does not define “employee,” the court looks to the history of the False Claims Act to determine that “employee” includes an independent contractor who works for defense contractors.
Defendants’ motions to dismiss and for judgment on the pleadings are denied.
Since plaintiff has standing to bring suit under 10 U.S.C. § 2409, the Navy is not a necessary party.
Plaintiff has alleged that both defendants were involved in and responsible for plaintiff’s hiring and that plaintiff complained of alleged mismanagement and dangers to public health and safety to both defendants. Plaintiff has further alleged that defendant Nitelines Kuhana JV, LLC is an alter ego of defendant Spectrum Healthcare Resources and that the entities had a unity of interest and ownership. Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that Spectrum could be liable for misconduct. Spectrum is not entitled to judgment on the pleadings.
Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that he suffered reprisal after making disclosures of what he reasonably believed to be evidence of gross mismanagement of a defense contract as well as evidence of a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety related to a defense contract. Thus, his claim survives the motion for judgment on the pleadings.