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Supreme Court to consider whistleblower's case against defence contractor KBR

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WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court will consider whether a whistleblower can move forward with a lawsuit claiming defence contracting giant KBR Inc. falsely billed the government for work in Iraq.

The justices on Tuesday said they will hear the company's appeal of a lower court decision that reinstated former employee Benjamin Carter's lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act.

A federal judge had thrown out the case, ruling that it was filed after a six-year deadline passed. But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said such cases can be filed past the deadline when the country is at war. The appeals court also rejected KBR's argument that Carter wasn't first to file his claims, as the false claims law requires.

The Supreme Court will hear the case in the fall.

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