Defective Body Armor Costs Company $1 million

A Canadian company will pay the United States just over $1 million to resolve allegations it violated federal law by selling a defective material used in bullet proof vests worn by law enforcement officers, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Barrday Inc. of Cambridge, Ontario, was aware of the problems with its woven Zylon fabric by at least 2001, investigators said, but continued to sell the protective material until 2003 when two police officers were shot through their vests. One of the officers was killed and the other seriously injured.

According to the settlement agreement, Barrday executives denied any wrongdoing.

Barrday’s Zylon was used in vests sold by Second Chance Body Armor Inc., Point Blank Body Armor Inc. and Gator Hawk Armor Inc.

The government alleged Barrday’s Zylon lost its ballistic capability too quickly, especially when exposed to heat and humidity. The vests were bought and used by state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in a program partly financed by the Justice Department.

“This settlement will help ensure that component suppliers are held responsible for materials that put our first-responders at risk,” Michael Hertz, acting assistant attorney general for the civil division, said in a statement.

The Barrday settlement is part of a larger, ongoing federal investigation of the use of Zylon in body armor. As part of the agreement, Barrday will cooperate with investigators.