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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Alarming Complaint About Aircraft Parts

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - Aircraft parts supplier Ameri-King ordered workers to scrub off "Made in China" labels and replace them with "Made in USA" labels, and sold repaired parts as new, a fired worker claims in court.

Hoang Nguyen sued Ameri-King on Dec. 16 in Orange County Court. Nguyen claims that in his 8 years working the assembly line for the Huntington Beach-based company he saw practices that could endanger the lives of commercial airline passengers.

"Many of the parts imported from China and relabeled, such as antennas, were found to be faulty," Nugyen claims. "Often, when customers returned new parts that were not working or malfunctioned, those parts were merely repaired by Ameri-King workers, relabeled, and sold as new, FAA-approved, 'Made in USA' parts."

Nguyen claims that in 2008 he spoke to a supervisor about the "deceitful practices" and the increased risk of plane crashes.

He claims that the supervisor responded: "It's strange to say this, but when an airplane crashes, no single company will be held liable, because an airplane has thousands of parts and any single one of them could have resulted in the crash. So no one will be able to say definitively what made the airplane crash."

Nguyen says he continued to complain about the "dangerous conditions" created by the company's "fraudulent and negligent business practices," but his mangers ignored him - so collected evidence to report the practices to the FAA.

Nguyen says the FAA investigated Ameri-King, visited the company in January 2013 and interviewed him in front of his managers, "regarding the company's fraudulent activity and negligence." His boss told him later that day "that if such reporting occurred again, he would be fired," according to the lawsuit.

But Nguyen says he was interviewed again a month later at FAA offices, and provided "a complete report on irregularities and fraudulent practices that had happened and were ongoing at Ameri-King."

Amer-King fired him in January this year, claiming lack of work for him, but then hired several new employees "to perform his tasks and more," Nguyen says.

He seeks reinstatement, lost wages, costs and punitive damages for whistleblower retaliation, wrongful firing and unfair business practices.

He is represented by Katrina Anne Foley of Newport Beach.

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