News & Analysis as of

Recent Developments in Cases Dealing with the False Claims Act’s First-to-File and Public Disclosure Bars

The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733, enables whistleblowers—also known as qui tam relators— to file fraud suits on behalf of the United States against private government contractors. With the assistance of qui tam...more

Blog: Litigation Round-Up: Some Recent Drug & Device Settlements, Investigations, Inquiries

Settlements - Pharmaceutical company Organon Inc. agreed to pay $31 million to settle federal and state allegations that it underpaid Medicaid drug rebates, provided kickbacks to nursing home pharmacy companies,...more

Provider Waives Attorney-Client Privilege in Qui Tam Case by Asserting Compliance with Law

A federal district court recently rejected a health care provider’s claim of attorney-client privilege and ordered the provider to produce written communications with its lawyers regarding the provider’s compliance with the...more

Whistleblower Goes It Alone to Secure $5 Million Settlement under False Claims Act

The potential success of a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act (FCA) is significantly reduced when the government fails to intervene because such cases are often assumed to lack merit. However, a plaintiff...more

Healthcare Industry Faces Heightened Criminal Exposure Under New Criminal Division Review Process for Qui Tam Suits

The Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Leslie Caldwell, announced on September 17, 2014, that criminal prosecutors at the Justice Department in Washington will automatically review all new qui tam (i.e.,...more

The Coming Qui Tam Tsunami: A New Threat to American Business

The most potent weapon in combatting corporate fraud against the U.S. government has been the False Claims Act (“FCA”). Under the FCA, the U.S. government may recover treble damages and civil fines for such fraud....more

False Claims Act Update

New Criminal Division Review Process for Qui Tam Complaints Expands Main Justice Involvement and Threatens Greater Criminal Exposure in Whistleblower Investigations. The Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal...more

Eighth Circuit Rules Certain FCA Whistleblowers Are Not Required To Identify Specific Examples of Fraud Under Rule 9(b)

On August 29, 2014, the Eighth Circuit ruled that False Claims Act (FCA) whistleblowers with knowledge of employer billing practices are not necessarily required to identify specific examples of fraud to survive a Rule 9(b)...more

U.S. Attorney General Intervenes in Whistleblower Suit Against Computer Software Industry Leader

The U.S. Attorney General recently intervened in a qui tam case brought by a current employee of California-based computer software giant Symantec Corporation, alleging violations of the federal, California, Florida and New...more

Lessons From Omnicare Settlement In 'Swapping' Cases

On June 25, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had settled with Omnicare Inc. in two matters alleging that kickbacks resulted from below-cost discounts offered to skilled nursing homes as an inducement to select...more

It’s Time to Re-Think the False Claims Act

The federal False Claims Act (FCA) is one of the government’s primary weapons in combating fraud by federal contractors, federal grantees and recipients of federal benefits. Since 1986, when the FCA was restructured into its...more

We Don’t Need No Intervention: Qui Tam Relator in Omnicare Wins Big Without DOJ

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the settlement of two qui tam whistleblower lawsuits against Omnicare Inc., the largest nursing home pharmaceutical and pharmacy services vendor in the nation....more

Texas Federal Court Dismisses FCA Claims As Insufficiently Pled

In U.S. ex rel. Williams v. McKesson Corp., No. 3:12-CV-0371-B (N.D. Tex. July 9, 2014), a Texas federal court recently dismissed a qui tam whistleblower suit by a former employee of McKesson, a Texas-based entity that...more

Fifth Circuit: FCA Inapplicable to Claims Involving Private Funds Administered by Government-Created Programs

In United States of America ex rel Rene Shupe v. Cisco Systems, Inc. and Avnet, Inc., No. 13-40807 (5th Cir. July 7, 2014), the Fifth Circuit reversed a district court’s order denying a motion to dismiss a qui tam...more

Employers Fight Back Against Whistleblowers

In 2013, the federal government recovered $3.8 billion from settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act (FCA). Whistleblowers—also called “relators”—can recover up to 30 percent of whatever a defendant pays in a...more

"Pay Me, Or Else…": California Court Rules Employee's Pre-Litigation Qui Tam Threat is Extortionate

A California appellate court recently issued a warning to employees who try to negotiate settlements with their employers by making veiled threats to report an employer's real or imagined criminal activity. In Stenehjem v....more

Third Circuit Adopts Less Demanding FCA Pleading Standard

Last week, the Third Circuit reversed a New Jersey district court’s decision to dismiss a False Claims Act (FCA) qui tam law suit, holding that the court applied an overly demanding pleading standard to relator Thomas...more

Supreme Court Declines to Opine on Circuit Split Over Rule 9(b) Pleading Requirements for FCA Claims

On March 31, 2014, in U.S. ex rel. Nathan v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upholding a district...more

Court enforces False Claims Act’s first-to-file rule to bar complaint alleging details of off-label promotion scheme about which...

In Brief - When an alleged scheme to market drugs for unapproved “off-label” uses had already been identified by an earlier complaint, a later complaint providing additional details, but alleging the same “essential...more

Whistleblower’s one-two punch: Confidential informant/employee spurs criminal investigation, then successfully sues individual...

Schuylkill Products case highlights how a whistleblower can put an employer on track to face both criminal and civil proceedings under the False Claims Act....more

White Collar Watch - June 2014

In This Issue: - Whistleblower’s one-two punch: Confidential informant/employee spurs criminal investigation, then successfully sues individual company owner in qui tam action - Alleged illegal recruiting for...more

There Is No Bark to the Barko Case

I always enjoy listening to the legal “doomsayers” who love to propound hysterical claims in an effort to gain attention. It reminds me of little children screaming for attention. Unfortunately, in the case of lawyers...more

Second Circuit Dismisses $50 Million FCA Suit

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a False Claims Act (“FCA”) whistleblower suit seeking $50 million in damages from Huron Consulting Group Inc. (“Huron”) for...more

Whistleblowers Could be the First Responders Against Fraud

We knows who the first responders are. When a student opened fire at a Nevada middle school on Monday morning, October 21, 2013, teacher Michael Landsberry sacrificed his life to protect the children in the school. Teacher...more

White Collar Watch

In This Issue: - Federal court unseals rare False Claims Act complaint against home mortgage servicer - Qui tam relators target – and gain access to – internal investigation on ground that attorney-client...more

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