Civil Procedure Government Contracting

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DC Circuit Enforces Escobar’s Materiality Requirement

This week, the D.C. Circuit added to the post-Escobar, materiality jurisprudence with its opinion in United States ex rel. McBride v. Halliburton Co., No. 15-7144 (Feb. 17, 2017). In its decision, the court affirmed the...more

Missouri appellate court opens the door to Spearin claims by contractors against public entities

A Missouri appellate court has for the first time recognized that a construction contractor may pursue a breach of contract claim against a public entity owner based on the “Spearin doctrine,” meaning the contractor may...more

Improvidently Granted Appeal Statistically Yields Sampling Uncertainty

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in 2015 to hear an interlocutory appeal of a district court’s decision to prohibit a qui tam relator from using statistical sampling to prove liability and damages in a False Claims...more

Supreme Court Applies Escobar to Reinstate Implied Certification Suit Against Bank Based on Compliance With Fed Rules

On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, the Supreme Court summarily vacated the judgment in Bishop v. Wells Fargo & Co. and remanded the case to the Second Circuit in light of the Court’s recent decision in Universal Health Servs. v....more

Proof by Proxy in FCA Suits? District Court Says It Depends

Admissibility of statistical sampling to prove liability in FCA suit is fact dependent. In a February 14, 2017 decision, the Fourth Circuit declined to rule on the question of whether statistical sampling can be used to...more

Fourth Circuit Takes a Pass on Statistical Sampling, Finds DOJ's Settlement Veto Authority Unreviewable

After granting the relators’ petition for an interlocutory review of the district court’s rejection of the use of statistical sampling to establish FCA liability, the Fourth Circuit ultimately declined to reach that issue in...more

DC Circuit joins other circuits in enforcing Escobar's strict materiality requirement: key takeaways

The DC Circuit has affirmed summary judgment against the relator in United States ex rel. McBride v. Halliburton Company, et al, a False Claims Act (FCA) case alleging defendants-appellees (collectively, KBR) inflated...more

Fourth Circuit Permits DOJ to Reject an FCA Settlement, But Punts Decision on Statistical Sampling

In a closely watched False Claims Act (“FCA”) case, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has an unreviewable right to object to a proposed settlement agreement between a relator...more

Fifth Circuit Limits Reverse False Claims Act Liability

On December 13, 2016, in United States ex rel Simoneaux v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., No. 16-30141, 2016 WL 7228813 (5th Cir. Dec. 13, 2016), the Fifth Circuit rejected an expansive construction of “reverse” false claims...more

False Claims Act Alert: Fourth Circuit Punts on Sampling and Extrapolation

Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the interlocutory appeal in United States ex rel. Michaels v. Agape Senior Community, Inc.. In an opinion considering two significant questions arising under the qui tam...more

Texas Court of Appeals Holds That Owner’s Change to Contractor’s Means and Methods Resulted in a “Breach,” Instead of a “Change”...

Port of Houston Auth. of Harris Cnty. v. Zachry Constr. Corp., 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 13306 (Tex. App. Houston 14th Dist. Dec. 15, 2016) - This contract dispute dates back to 2004, when the Port of Houston Authority...more

First Circuit Tells False Claims Act Relators To “Put Up or Shut Up”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently called summary judgment “the put up or shut up moment in litigation.” On January 30, 2017, the relators in U.S. ex rel. Booker v. Pfizer – a long-running False Claims...more

First Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Defendant, Rejecting the Use of Aggregate Data to Prove False Claims and Clarifying the...

The First Circuit has issued an opinion affirming a complete grant of summary judgment for Pfizer, Inc. in United States ex rel. Booker v. Pfizer Inc., No. 16-1805 (1st Cir. Jan. 30, 2017), a False Claims Act (“FCA”) lawsuit...more

Far-Fetched Whistleblower Claim of the Month

The hospital industry is accustomed to far-fetched whistleblower claims: allegations that a hospital knowingly submitted false or fraudulent Medicare or Medicaid claims or fired a whistleblower for trying to prevent such...more

Alleging Improper Use of Funds Legitimately Obtained from the Government Insufficient to State FCA Retaliation Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has dismissed an FCA retaliation claim brought by a nurse who claimed to have blown the whistle on misuse of funds at a hospital that received significant federal...more

15-Year-Old Whistleblower Lawsuit Survives Statute of Limitations Challenge

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently allowed a fifteen-year old False Claims Act (“FCA”) qui tam action to proceed when it rejected a strict application of the statute of limitations and broadly construed the...more

First Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FCA Off-Label Marketing Case for Failure to Meet 9(b) Particularity Requirement

In Lawton v. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. et al., 842 F.3d 125 (1st Cir. 2016), the First Circuit affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of a False Claims Act (“FCA”) suit alleging a drug maker fraudulently marketed a product for...more

10 Key FCA Developments Of 2016

2016 was another active year in the land of False Claims Act enforcement. The U.S. Department of Justice continued to set recovery records and turned its eye more keenly on enforcement of individuals. We heard from the...more

Materiality Under FCA: The Lower Courts Grapple With Escobar’s Meaning

The Supreme Court’s decision in Universal Health Services v. Escobar ex rel. United States sought to clarify the standard for materiality under the False Claims Act, but lower courts have already begun to adopt different...more

Failure to Plead Objective Falsity Dooms Cardiologist’s FCA Complaint

A number of recent FCA decisions have grappled with the question of objective falsity, particularly in the context of FCA claims where the alleged falsity is premised on a lack of medical necessity in connection with the...more

Mintz Levin Health Care Qui Tam Update - Recently Unsealed Whistleblower Cases: January 2017

We have identified 30 health care–related qui tam cases that have been unsealed in whole or in part. Trends & Analysis - A substantial majority of the unsealed cases had been under seal for periods well in excess of...more

Relax, Sixth Circuit Opinion Indicates Rule 9(b) Pleading Requirement Still Has Bite

A recent Sixth Circuit opinion in U.S. ex rel. Hirt v. Walgreen Co. should come as welcome news for FCA defendants concerned about the implications of the Sixth Circuit’s application last year, for the first time, of a...more

Significant Government Contract Litigation: A Year in Review

Last year provided a number of important claims and cases that further developed various aspects of litigation regarding the Contract Disputes Act (CDA). The major issues raised in some of the more notable claims include...more

First Circuit Holds That, for Original Source Exception to the False Claims Act’s Public Disclosure Bar to Apply, Information...

On June 30, 2016, the First Circuit addressed the kinds of information that a relator must provide to qualify as an original source to avoid dismissal under the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) public disclosure bar. In United...more

Fourth Circuit Holds that the False Claims Act Does Not Expand Common Law Corporate Successor Liability

In United States ex rel. Bunk v. Gov’t Logistics N.V., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20481, 842 F.3d 261 (4th Cir. 2016), the Fourth Circuit addressed a successor corporation’s liability for a predecessor corporation’s liabilities...more

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