United States v. Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., No. 12-40447 (5th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
KBR allegedly accepted kickbacks from two companies angling to win subcontracts on KBR's prime contract to service American armed forces in military theaters across the world. At issue on appeal was whether, and if so under what conditions, the Anti-Kickback Act's (AKA), 41 U.S.C. 55(a)(1), civil suit provision extended vicarious liability to an employer for the acts of its employees. The court discerned no persuasive evidence of congressional intent in section 55(a) to vary from the common law norm of permitting vicarious liability for employee actions taken under apparent authority. The court reversed the district court's ruling granting KBR's motion to dismiss the government's AKA claim, concluding that the district court erred in finding that section 55(a)(1) did not allow the government to allege vicarious liability. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings.