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Whistle-Blower Says $1 Billion Isn’t Enough in Guardrail Lawsuit

By 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Joshua Harman was awake and reviewing documents before the last day of trial in his whistle-blower case against Trinity Industries, one of the biggest makers of guardrails in the U.S. Less than 12 hours later, a federal jury issued its verdict: Trinity cheated the federal government of $175 million by selling a secretly modified guardrail product for use on U.S. highways.

The verdict vindicated Harman, who’s spent more than two years trying to convince the public that Trinity’s modified ET-Plus end terminal—which is a steel mechanism mounted onto the end of a guardrail to absorb the impact of a crash—was impaling cars instead of slowing them down safely. Trinity has sued him twice for defaming its product, and the company insists he’s a money-hungry “professional plaintiff” putting forward “baseless allegations.”