Difference between revisions of "False Claims Act"

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In a non-intervened case, the relator can obtain between 25% to 30% of the recovery.  Additionally, a relator who prevails in an FCA action—regardless of whether the government intervenes—is entitled to “reasonable expenses which the court finds to have been necessarily incurred, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d).  Qui tam whistleblower lawsuits have enabled the government to recover more than '''$40 billion.'''
In a non-intervened case, the relator can obtain between 25% to 30% of the recovery.  Additionally, a relator who prevails in an FCA action—regardless of whether the government intervenes—is entitled to “reasonable expenses which the court finds to have been necessarily incurred, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d).  Qui tam whistleblower lawsuits have enabled the government to recover more than '''$40 billion.'''
The [https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/sp_faq/qui-tam-lawsuit/ qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act] have been enormously effective in enlisting private citizens to combat fraud against the government. Qui tam whistleblowers, also known as relators, have enabled the government to recover more than '''$60 billion'''. In fiscal year 2017 alone, qui tam actions brought by whistleblowers resulted in '''$3.4 billion in settlements''' and judgments, and the government paid '''$392 million in whistleblower awards''' to False Claims Act whistleblowers.
A '''qui tam whistleblower''' can be eligible for a large recovery.  But there are many pitfalls and obstacles to proving liability, and there are unique rules and procedures that govern qui tam whistleblower cases. Therefore, it is critical to retain an experienced False Claims Act whistleblower lawyer to maximize your recovery.


=='''The False Claims Act [https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/false-claims-act-whistleblower-retaliation-lawyer/ Protects Whistleblowers from Retaliation].'''==
=='''The False Claims Act [https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/false-claims-act-whistleblower-retaliation-lawyer/ Protects Whistleblowers from Retaliation].'''==
The [https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/sp_faq/qui-tam-lawsuit/ qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act] have been enormously effective in enlisting private citizens to combat fraud against the government. Qui tam whistleblowers, also known as relators, have enabled the government to recover more than '''$60 billion'''. In fiscal year 2017 alone, qui tam actions brought by whistleblowers resulted in '''$3.4 billion in settlements''' and judgments, and the government paid '''$392 million in whistleblower awards''' to False Claims Act whistleblowers.


The False Claims Act (“FCA”) protects employees, contractors, and agents who engage in protected activity from retaliation in the form of their being “discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)(1).
The False Claims Act (“FCA”) protects employees, contractors, and agents who engage in protected activity from retaliation in the form of their being “discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)(1).


False Claims Act whistleblower protection extends not only to employees and contractors, but also to partners.  See U.S. ex rel. Kraemer v. United Dairies, L.L.P., 2019 WL 2233053 (D. Minn. May 23, 2019); Munson Hardisty, LLC v. Legacy Point Apartments, LLC, 359 F. Supp. 3d 546, 558 (E.D. Tenn. 2019) (LLC that was general contractor on defendant’s construction project was proper FCA plaintiff).  In addition, the False Claims Act whistleblower protection law extends to physicians with staff privileges at a hospital. Powers v. Peoples Cmty. Hosp. Auth., 455 N.W.2d 371, 374 (Mich. Ct. App. 1990); El-Khalil v. Oakwood Healthcare, Inc., No. 19-12822, E.D. Mich. April 20, 2020.
False Claims Act whistleblower protection extends not only to employees and contractors, but also to partners.  See U.S. ex rel. Kraemer v. United Dairies, L.L.P., 2019 WL 2233053 (D. Minn. May 23, 2019); Munson Hardisty, LLC v. Legacy Point Apartments, LLC, 359 F. Supp. 3d 546, 558 (E.D. Tenn. 2019) (LLC that was general contractor on defendant’s construction project was proper FCA plaintiff).  In addition, the False Claims Act whistleblower protection law extends to physicians with staff privileges at a hospital. Powers v. Peoples Cmty. Hosp. Auth., 455 N.W.2d 371, 374 (Mich. Ct. App. 1990); El-Khalil v. Oakwood Healthcare, Inc., No. 19-12822, E.D. Mich. April 20, 2020.
A '''qui tam whistleblower''' can be eligible for a large recovery.  But there are many pitfalls and obstacles to proving liability, and there are unique rules and procedures that govern qui tam whistleblower cases. Therefore, it is critical to retain an experienced False Claims Act whistleblower lawyer to maximize your recovery.


=='''Examples of False Claims Act Violations'''==
=='''Examples of False Claims Act Violations'''==
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*[https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/villages-dermatologist-agrees-pay-more-17-million-settle-false-claims-act-liability Upcoding in the form of billing for 14,000-level tissue transfers], which should have been billed as lower-level wound repairs.
*[https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/villages-dermatologist-agrees-pay-more-17-million-settle-false-claims-act-liability Upcoding in the form of billing for 14,000-level tissue transfers], which should have been billed as lower-level wound repairs.
*Making misrepresentations regarding certified cost or pricing data in violation of federal procurement laws and regulations.  See 10 U.S.C. 2306a; 41 U.S.C. Chapter 35; FAR 15.403-4 and 15.403-5.
*Making misrepresentations regarding certified cost or pricing data in violation of federal procurement laws and regulations.  See 10 U.S.C. 2306a; 41 U.S.C. Chapter 35; FAR 15.403-4 and 15.403-5.
=='''The False Claims Act Protects Whistleblowers from Retaliation'''==
The False Claims Act (“FCA”) protects employees, contractors, and agents who engage in protected activity from retaliation in the form of their being “discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)(1).
False Claims Act whistleblower protection extends not only to employees and contractors, but also to partners. ''See U.S. ex rel. Kraemer v. United Dairies, L.L.P.'', 2019 WL 2233053 (D. Minn. May 23, 2019); ''Munson Hardisty, LLC v. Legacy Point Apartments, LLC'', 359 F. Supp. 3d 546, 558 (E.D. Tenn. 2019) (LLC that was general contractor on defendant’s construction project was proper FCA plaintiff).  In addition, the '''False Claims Act whistleblower protection law''' extends to physicians with staff privileges at a hospital. ''Powers v. Peoples Cmty. Hosp. Auth.'', 455 N.W.2d 371, 374 (Mich. Ct. App. 1990); [https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=7152881440929489314&hl=en&as_sdt=20000006 ''El-Khalil v. Oakwood Healthcare, Inc.,''] No. 19-12822, E.D. Mich. April 20, 2020.
==='''Prohibited Acts of Retaliation by the False Claims Act Anti-Retaliation Provision'''===
The False Claims Act prohibits an employer from discharging, demoting, suspending, threatening, harassing, or in any other manner discriminating against a whistleblower.  Prohibited retaliation includes:
*oral or written reprimands;
*reassignment of duties;
*[https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/false-claims-act-retaliaton/ constructive discharge]; and
*retaliatory lawsuits against whistleblowers.
==='''Remedies or Damages Under the Anti-Retaliation Provision of the False Claims Act'''===
A whistleblower who prevails in a '''False Claims Act retaliation''' action under the FCA may recover:
*reinstatement;
*double back pay, plus interest;
*special damages, which include litigation costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, emotional distress, and other noneconomic harm from the retaliation. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)(2).
Recently, a [https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/false-claims-act-retaliation/ jury awarded more than $2.5 million] to a whistleblower in an '''FCA retaliation case'''.  As there is no cap on compensatory damages, FCA retaliation plaintiffs can potentially recover substantial damages for the retaliation that they have suffered.
And in 2020, two cardiologists formerly employed by Tenet Healthcare Corporation recovered '''$11 million''' in compensatory damages in an arbitration of claims of '''FCA retaliation''', tortious interference with business expectancies, false light, and breach of contract.