FEMA

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Concludes that Violation of FCA Seal Provision Does Not Necessarily Mandate Dismissal of Qui Tam Suits

The Supreme Court held yesterday that a violation of the False Claims Act’s seal provision does not mandate dismissal of a relator’s complaint. Justice Kennedy authored the Court’s opinion in the unanimous 8-0 decision. ...more

OIG Pushing FEMA to Get Tougher on Procurement Compliance

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released their report "FEMA Can Do More to Improve Public Assistance Grantees' and Subgrantees' Compliance with Federal Procurement Rules." OIG...more

IRS Relief Available to Victims of Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida

Some good news in the wake of Hurricane Matthew: participants in 401(k) and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans who have been adversely affected by Hurricane Matthew may be eligible to use their retirement savings to...more

What Standard Governs the Dismissal of a Relator's Claim for Violation of the False Claims Act's Seal Requirement in an Action...

In the aftermath of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Cori and Kerri Rigsby accused State Farm Fire and Casualty Company of falsely misclassifying wind damage as flood damage, among other misdeeds, leaving...more

Fifth Circuit Affirms False Claims Act’s Anti-Retaliation Provision Cannot Be Used Against Individuals Who Did Not Employ...

On July 1, 2016, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district Court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s False Claims Act (“FCA”) retaliation claim against all individual defendants in the case. In Howell v. Town of Ball, 827 F.3d 515, 521...more

State-law Based Claims Against Parties Other than the United States Seeking Damages Arising Out of the Procurement of Flood...

Harris v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 4174381 (6th Cir. Aug. 8, 2016) - Case at a Glance - Plaintiffs purchased a home located in a federal flood zone, but they did not purchase...more

Hurricane Matthew Requires Immediate Action to Maximize Insurance Recovery

After tearing through the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew’s path brought it north to the Southeastern coast of the U.S., bringing evacuations, business closures and damages to the region. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and...more

Can Disputes Related To Procurement Of Federal Flood Insurance Policies Be Litigated In State Court?

It is well-established that claim processing and wrongful denial of coverage disputes involving federal flood insurance policies belong in federal court because they present substantial questions of federal law. The U.S....more

Massachusetts Innovates Again, This Time With New Climate Change Litigation

As an MIT grad and loyal resident (Go Sox!), I’m always happy to see stories about Massachusetts’ role in the innovation economy. Last week news arrived of more innovation in Massachusetts – this time on the legal front. ...more

New Orleans Federal Court Dismisses Relators’ Improper Billing Claims against FEMA Temporary Housing Contractor Due to...

On September 14, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted a government contractor’s summary judgment motion and dismissed a lawsuit brought against it by False Claims Act relators...more

Hoping to Avoid Website Crash, FCC Urges EAS Participants to Stagger Filings

The FCC has sent an email to those registered in the EAS Test Reporting System (“ETRS”) for tomorrow’s nationwide test, asking them to (1) stagger the filing of their EAS Form Two based on their time zone, and (2) not file...more

INcatastrophes

On August 12, 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in response to historic flooding in Louisiana. The state of emergency is set to expire on Monday, September 12, 2016. The most recent...more

Improving Waterfront Property: Challenges to the Fifty Percent Rule are Strictly Construed

Anyone working in waterfront construction long enough has a story (or knows someone who does) about pulled permits or burdensome local rules and regulations which may turn a waterfront dream renovation into a nightmare....more

Nationwide EAS Test Now Just One Month Away

As the summer winds down and the weather cools off, action around the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) is heating up. Hopefully by now, if you are an EAS participant, which includes all cable television systems, radio...more

Disaster Recovery: Navigating FEMA's Cumbersome Financial Assistance Rules

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, and will end on November 30. Hilary S. Cairnie offers his views on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) policies for reimbursement of disaster...more

Nationwide EAS Test Comes With a “To Do” List for Broadcasters and Other EAS Participants

Those trying to keep up with the news surrounding the upcoming nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) know that a lot has been happening in a short period of time. Below, we pull together the many recent FCC...more

EPA Issues Final Rule Implementing Formaldehyde Emission Standards

Final rule seeks to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors by establishing emission standards and labeling requirements for certain wood products. Six years after the passage of the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for...more

EAS Test Reporting System Deadline Fast Approaching

All Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) Participants must complete EAS Test Reporting System (“ETRS”) Form One on or before August 26, 2016. This would include all cable television systems, TV stations, radio stations and low...more

DoD, GSA, NASA: New Contract Proposal Registration Rule

Friday morning, May 20, 2016, the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and NASA issued a proposed rule to clarify that prospective government contractors must register with the System for Award...more

Proposed EAS Rules Mark a Greater Role for New Media Platforms and Increased Importance for Social Media in Delivering EAS Alerts

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM” or “Proposed EAS Rules”) in January, proposing improvements to the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) and Wireless Emergency Alerts...more

Update on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Inclusive Communities Decision

As previously reported on this blog, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 2507 (2015) adopted a burden-shifting approach to...more

President Obama's FY17 Budget Request Proposes New Energy and Environmental Allocations

The President has unveiled his fiscal year 2017 budget request for the federal government. The figures are ambitious in the way that only a president in his last term would propose, and the budget includes numerous funding...more

New Flood Hazard Maps Released for Boston

After several years of study and an appeal by the City of Boston, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop, which become effective...more

First Floods of 2016: Insurance Recovery Tips for Midwestern Businesses

The beginning of 2016 brought floods to the Midwest—and, tragically, loss of life and extensive property damage. With the floodwaters now receding and cleanup underway, affected businesses should consider obtaining insurance...more

Will You Be Covered Should El Niño Arrive?

After years of drought, California is now receiving warnings that this may be an El Niño winter. The threat of El Niño brings with it the concerns of significant rain fall and resultant flood losses. Unfortunately, most...more

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