Sixth Circuit Provides Powerful Authority for False Claims


Recently, the Sixth Circuit in United States ex rel. Williams v. Renal Care Group et al. threw out an $83 million judgment against a dialysis provider in an opinion recognizing the ambiguity endemic in the current health care regulatory environment and rejecting the government’s attempts to exploit that ambiguity under the False Claims Act.

Of particular interest to companies in the health care space is the court’s analysis in confronting — and rejecting — two positions commonly advanced by the government in False Claims Act cases. First, the court rejected the notion that it is inherently wrongful for government contractors, when facing ambiguous laws and regulations governing federal programs, to interpret those rules with the goal of maximizing profit. In so doing, the court underscored the value of relying in good faith on advice of counsel when facing regulatory uncertainty. Second, the court rejected an argument commonly advanced by relators that a contractor’s violation of conditions of participation in a government program automatically renders otherwise truthful claims submitted to the United States “false.” On both grounds, the court ultimately found the government’s case so flimsy that it not only reversed the District Court’s $83 million judgment for the United States, but also granted summary judgment to the defendants.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ropes & Gray LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Ropes & Gray LLP on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.