If you’re involved in litigation related to the alarm industry, you know–or have heard legend of–Jeffrey Zwirn. He is a darling of plaintiffs’ attorneys, and seems to be involved in every high profile case involving allegations that a security alarm system failed. Zwirn has made a living, it seems, by targeting large alarm companies. But this time did he go too far?
Apparently back in 2010, Zwirn filed a qui tam action against ADT and Tyco. Qui tam actions are a type of civil lawsuit, allowing a private citizen to bring a claim under the False Claims Act, on the grounds that an individual or a business is defrauding the government. The private citizen sues to recover funds on the government’s behalf, and a percentage of any recovery goes to the private citizen who brought the claim.
In Zwirn’s lawsuit he claimed that ADT and Tyco made false representations to the government about the alarm systems installed in federal courthouses and judges’ homes concerning their compliance with the law and industry best practices.
The government investigated and declined to intervene in the lawsuit. The court recently concluded that the allegations are meritless and dismissed the action. It will be interesting to see if and how this affects Zwirn’s work for the plaintiffs’ bar.
Read the court’s opinion here: US ex rel Zwirn v ADT Sec Services Inc