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Hewlett-Packard Company and Agilent Technologies

San Francisco, CA: (Jul-17-07) In a recent development, the California Court of Appeal has revived a whistleblower lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard Company and a spin-off entity, Agilent Technologies, for knowingly selling defective, life threatening medical devices used by many California hospitals. The suit, filed by former Hewlett-Packard employee Robert Hindin on behalf of the State of California and himself, stated that "the company sought to defraud its customers by knowingly selling defective and potentially dangerous medical devices" in violation of the California False Claims Act. The suit has been revived and intends to seek treble damages estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Hindin worked for Hewlett-Packard as production manager and manufacturing engineer for eight years before being wrongfully terminated in 1997. Hindin first uncovered HP's improper practices and repeated life-threatening failures of HP products in 1996 and attempted to persuade HP management to respond to the problems, even going so far as to write to HP's president. Facing hostility and retaliation, Hindin reported HP's conduct to the Food and Drug Administration, after which he was fired by the company.

In a settlement in July 2002, Hindin's fraud charges were validated when HP/Agilent agreed to pay $7 million to the federal government which had taken over prosecution of Hindin's Federal False Claims Act suit. The company also settled Hindin's wrongful termination claim. [BUSINESS WIRE: HP WHISTLEBLOWER]

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Published on Jul-18-07


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