L.A . Company Must Pay for Overbilling County on Subway

Mon February 19, 2007 - West Edition

LOS ANGELES (AP) A construction company and two other firms must pay $450,000 for overbilling the county’s transit agency for work done on a subway line, a Superior Court jury found.

The jury returned the verdict against Tutor-Saliba Corp. Dec. 18.

Jurors found Tutor-Saliba Corp. liable for violating the California False Claims Act and a breach of contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for work it did on the Red Line subway.

Tutor-Saliba and two co-defendants — Perini Corp. and Tutor-Saliba-Perini JV — were ordered to pay $450,000 in penalties, said David Casselman, MTA’s outside counsel.

“The dollars involved are far less significant than the fact that a false claim has been established,” Casselman said. “These entities are nationally involved in public construction, and the MTA Board of Governors made a very courageous decision to pursue a false-claims suit against them.”

A message left with Tutor-Saliba, based in Los Angeles, was not immediately returned Dec. 19.

In their verdict, jurors said Tutor-Saliba double-billed for $111,000 worth of work installing handrails in the tunnels around the Red Line station at Wilshire Boulevard and Normandie Avenue.