Jack Gravitt broke rank at General Electric to report to the top General Electric Aircraft Engine executive a scheme by his co employees and superiors to mischarge time on government B 1B Bomber engine contracts. Instead of being commended, he was dicharged. We rediscovered the ancient False Claims Act in the United States Banking Code, which allowed Mr. Gravitt to file a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the United States. The Department of Justice attempted to make a sweetheart settlement with General Electric for $234,000. We successfully opposed the Department of Justice’s efforts.
Mr. Gravitt ultimately reached a settlement of the claims against General Electric for a then record setting amount for a False Claims Act case.
The Gravitt case was the only pending qui tam action reviewed and considered by Congress in drafting the modern False Claims Act in 1986. Mr. Gravitt’s courage led to major changes in the law. His six year court battle at one time or another was before all three levels of the federal court system (trial, appellate, and Supreme Court) and all three levels of our federal government (judicial, legislative, and executive). Mr. Gravitt passed away in 2001. Our False Claims Act treatise is dedicated to him.