News & Analysis as of

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...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

DOJ Settles False Claims Act Allegations Against Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

On February 11, the DOJ announced a $7.9 million settlement with a Delaware-based pharmaceutical manufacturer for allegedly violating the False Claims Act by engaging in a kickback scheme with a pharmacy benefits manager...more

Opinions on Whistleblowers Have Changed Over Time

Now that there are more protections available for whistleblowers than ever before, especially whistleblowers in federal agencies, opinions on the act of whistleblowing have also begun to shift in a more positive light. ...more

Fourth Circuit's Triple Canopy False Claims Act Decision

The decision unexpectedly expands potential liability. On January 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a panel decision that established a new and potentially significant False Claims Act (FCA)...more

False Claims Act: 2014 Year In Review

In what is becoming an annual refrain, 2014 marked another year of robust False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and mushrooming qui tam lawsuits by whistleblowers. Indeed, fiscal year 2014...more

Illinois Law Firm Continues to Clog Court System with Tax-Related False Claims Act Allegations—but Proposed Legislation May Offer...

As many readers of this blog know, over the past 12 years the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois has been deluged with lawsuits filed by a Chicago law firm against internet retailers as a “whistleblower” under the...more

Credit Crunch Digest - December 2014

This issue of the Credit Crunch Digest focuses on Libor civil penalties; three former ICAP brokers pleading not guilty to criminal Libor charges; a large whistle-blower award to a former Countrywide Financial Corp. executive;...more

The Guards Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight: Fourth Circuit Endorses “Implied Certification” Theory Under False Claims Act

Does the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”) require the submission of an “objectively false statement” to the government? When does a company’s knowing failure to comply with contractual terms amount not just to a breach of...more

Seventh Circuit Uses Rule 9(b) to Dismiss False Claims Act Case

The Seventh Circuit has been on quite a tear recently with cases involving the False Claims Act; we wrote about three of them, involving the federal assignment law, the worthless-services doctrine, and the public-disclosure...more

When Being Ethical Pays Off – Countrywide Whistleblower Gets $56.7 Million Payout

A former executive at mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, is about to become an extremely wealthy man. Edward O’Donnell is set to collect $57.6 million from Bank of America, for his role in exposing fraudulent activity...more

Whistleblower Awarded $175 Million in Trinity Industries Lawsuit

A federal jury determined that Trinity Industries, a Texas-based guardrail manufacturer, must pay $175 million in penalties after a whistleblower alerted authorities to False Claims Act violations by the company....more

Trends in N.J. Whistleblowing and Retaliation Law – 2014 Roundup

2014 was another busy year for developments in whistleblowing and retaliation law in New Jersey. This blog post summarizes noteworthy state and federal cases for employers to consider in the new year....more

Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter #47

We are pleased to present the 47th edition of the Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter. This month, we highlight a case that addresses claims against Facebook based on the U.S. Wiretap Act, a case...more

Buy High, Sell Low, and Restrict Competition: The Allegations Underlying the Government’s Case Against DaVita and the Implications...

On October 22, DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., one of the nation’s largest dialysis companies, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Total Renal Care, Inc. (collectively, “DaVita”), agreed to pay $389 Million to settle...more

California’s Insurance Fraud Prevention Act: 3 unsettled issues the health sector should understand

California’s Insurance Frauds Prevention Act, Ins. Code §§ 1871 et seq. (IFPA), is an unusual false claims statute. It allows “interested persons” (aka whistleblowers or relators) to file false claims lawsuits based on the...more

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Whistleblower Protection Is Not Available

The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §3729 et seq. (FCA), provides for triple damages and a penalty ranging from $5,500 to $11,000 per claim for anyone who knowingly submits or causes the submission of a false or fraudulent claim...more

The False Claims Act and the Health Care Industry: 2014 Year in Review

On Nov. 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced settlements and judgments for False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases totaling $5.7 billion (compared to $3.8 billion in fiscal year 2013), $2.3 billion of which was...more

Supreme Court Rejects Whistleblower’s Double-Dip Attempt

On Monday the United States Supreme Court declined to hear Danny Smart’s appeal of the Fifth Circuit’s rejection of his attempt to share in the proceeds of a $5 million settlement of a False Claims Act suit brought by another...more

11th Circuit Brings Back Part of Whistleblower Suit

According to the ruling of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a former health care executive that exposed a kickback and illegal referral scheme by his employer will be allowed to proceed with certain allegations listed...more

Federal Judge Awards Attorneys’ Fees to Defendant in Dismissed Qui Tam Case, Calls Whistleblower a “Serial Relator”

In November 2013 and this past October, Mintz Levin’s Health Care Qui Tam Update highlighted three separate qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) cases filed by Fox RX, Inc. (Fox), a former Medicare Part D plan sponsor. Fox filed...more

Sixth Circuit: Job Applicant Cannot Claim Retaliation under FCA for Prior Whistleblowing Activities

Gary Vander Boegh worked as a landfill manager for the U.S. Department of Energy. While there, Vander Boegh engaged in what he claimed was protected whistleblowing activity, including reporting environmental violations that...more

Sixth Circuit Decision Confirms that Employers May Lawfully Choose Not to Hire a Job Applicant with a Prior History as a False...

Some employers in the health care and other industries who regularly deal with the federal government and are subject to the False Claims Act (“FCA”) have felt helpless in trying to weed out serial whistleblowers in the...more

Mintz Levin Health Care Qui Tam Update - Recent Developments & Unsealed Cases: November 2014

Trends & Analysis - In the period covered by this issue, we have identified 68 whistleblower cases related to health care that were unsealed. In this Qui Tam Update, we analyze the trends and take an in-depth look at...more

Eleventh Circuit Limits Scope of FCA Whistleblower Suit

Late last month, a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated portions of a former executive’s False Claims Act (“FCA”) whistleblower action against Health Management Associates Inc. (“HMA”),...more

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