Relators

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Lowers Public Disclosure Bar

In a reversal of 23-year-old precedent, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled en banc in two consolidated cases that a False Claims Act (FCA) (31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq.) relator may qualify as an “original...more

Recent Ninth Circuit En Banc Decision Makes It Easier for Relators to be an Original Source and the First- to-File

On July 7, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an en banc decision that potentially makes it easier for relators to prevail on pending False Claim Act qui tam suits and bring new actions in...more

Felony Conviction Bars Whistleblower from Pursuing Qui Tam Case

A relator convicted of criminal conduct is precluded from sharing in related FCA recoveries, irrespective of degree of culpability. On July 16, a US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel upheld the dismissal from...more

Whistleblower's Criminal Conduct Prevents FCA Payout

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit prevented a False Claims Act (“FCA”) relator from receiving a share of a $19 million settlement stemming from the defendant’s alleged false billing on a nuclear cleanup...more

9th Circ. Relaxes Requirements for “Original Source” Whistleblowers

The False Claims Act makes it illegal to obtain government money through false claims. Under the Act a private party, known as a relator, may bring a civil suit on the government’s behalf against an entity that has allegedly...more

Trinity Homecare Settlement: Five False Claims Trends

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced that his office had reached a $2.5 million settlement in a federal False Claims Act (FCA) case with Trinity HomeCare and its related entities. The case,...more

Hartpence: Ninth Circuit Joins Majority of Circuits to Lower Barrier for Whistleblowers in False Claims Act Lawsuits

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a case likely heralding an increase in the number of qui tam False Claims Act lawsuits, has abrogated prior precedent and lowered the jurisdictional bar for whistleblowers in...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects FCA Implied False Certification Theory

On June 8, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected the doctrine of implied false certification in a False Claims Act (“FCA”) lawsuit, U.S. ex rel. Nelson v. Sanford-Brown Ltd. No. 14-2506, 2015 WL...more

Does the False Claims Act Preempt An Attorney Relator’s Ethical Obligations?

In United States ex rel. Holmes v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 1:13-cv-85, 2015 WL 3504525 (S.D. Miss. June 3, 2015), the court answered this question with a resounding “no” and provided a laundry list of ethical violations...more

Growing Use of Sampling in FCA Cases

In prior years, sampling has been at issue in FCA cases largely in the context of damages. Specifically, where there were allegations of a specific course of wrongful conduct that allegedly impacted large volumes of claims,...more

Maryland’s New False Claims Act: Is It Enough?

Maryland Senate bill 374 (cross filed with House bill 405) has made its way to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk for signature. Championed by Attorney General Brian Frosh, the bill expands Maryland’s False Claims Act from its...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Relator's Complaint Under Amended Public Disclosure Bar

In United States of America ex rel. Marc Osheroff v. Humana, Inc. et al., No. 13-15278 (11th Cir., Jan. 16, 2015), the Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of a relator’s complaint under the public disclosure bar of the False...more

You Again?: Application of the First-to-File Bar Where Subsequent Actions Are Brought By the Same Relator

The Federal False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq., has unique procedural aspects that come into play when a private whistleblower (the “relator”) seeks to sue on behalf of the Government. One of these, the...more

CMS Delays 60-Day Rule, But Overpayment Case Law Emerging

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a one-year delay in finalizing the long-awaited and closely watched rule addressing the 60-day deadline to return Medicare and Medicaid overpayments (the...more

First Circuit Reaffirms FCA’s “First-to-File” Bar as a Broad Jurisdictional Limit

In early December 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reaffirmed that circuit’s broad interpretation of the False Claims Act’s “first-to-file” bar, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(5), in United States ex rel....more

Office Depot Agrees to Pay $68.5 Million to Settle California FCA Claims

A California judge approved a $68.5 million settlement yesterday to resolve allegations that Office Depot violated the California False Claims Act (CFCA) by overcharging California public entities for office and classroom...more

DC Circuit Ruling Confirms Reasonableness Of Resellers Relying On TAA Certifications From Suppliers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has issued a ruling bringing to an end the long-running False Claims Act (“FCA”) case filed by relator Brady Folliard and providing useful guidance to resellers...more

Promoting the False Claims Act By Dismissing Meritless Qui Tam Actions

The False Claims Act's qui tam action is a distinctive and atypical form of litigation. Through the qui tam mechanism, Congress created a unique way for the United States to recover for false claims by empowering private...more

7th Circuit Defines "Worthless Services" Under the False Claims Act

That’s the upshot from U.S. ex rel. Absher v. Momence Meadows Nursing Center, Nos. 13-1886 & 13-1936 (Aug. 20, 2014), a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit (authored by Judge Manion) that addressed the worthless-services...more

C.D. Cal. Dismisses False Claims Act Qui Tam Suit Against Group of Lenders

On July 15, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a relator real estate agent’s suit against a group of lenders the relator alleged submitted claims for FHA insurance benefits to HUD based...more

Can a Relator Be Held Liable for Using Confidential Company Documents to Support a Qui Tam Case?

Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued a decision in Walsh et al. v. Amerisource Bergen Corp. et al denying the Relator’s motion to dismiss a counterclaim that alleged the Relator...more

The Halifax $85 Million Lesson: Compensation Arrangements Between Hospitals and Physicians Must Be Reviewed

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced another multi-million dollar settlement of alleged False Claims Act violations on March 11, 2014. Specifically, Halifax Hospital Medical Center and Halifax Staffing, Inc. agreed to...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

First Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FCA Complaint Based on First-to-File Bar

The First Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of United States ex rel. Wilson v. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Inc. under the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) “first-to-file” provision, which prohibits any person “other than the...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

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