Difference between revisions of "False Claims Act"

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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.
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.
=='''Protected Whistleblowing/Protected Conduct under the False Claims Act Retaliation Law'''==
The FCA protects:
#“lawful acts . . . in furtherance of an action under [the FCA]”; and
#“other efforts to stop 1 or more [FCA] violations.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)(1).
Recent cases have interpreted this protected activity to include:
*internal reporting of fraudulent activity to a supervisor;
*steps taken in furtherance of a potential or actual ''qui tam'' action; or
*efforts to remedy fraudulent activity or to stop an FCA violation.
'''FCA whistleblower protection''' attaches regardless of whether the whistleblower mentions the words “fraud” or “illegal.”  The employer need only be put on notice that litigation is a “reasonable possibility.” A reasonableness standard is inherently flexible and dependent on the circumstances; thus, “no magic words—such as illegal or unlawful—are necessary to place the employer on notice of protected activity.” ''Jamison v. Fluor Fed. Sols.'', LLC, 2017 WL 3215289, at *9 (N.D. Tex. July 28, 2017).
An '''FCA retaliation claim''' does not require proof of a viable underlying FCA claim.  The FCA anti-retaliation provisions “do[] not require the plaintiff to have developed a winning qui tam action”; they “only require [] that the plaintiff engage in acts [made] in furtherance of an [FCA] action.”  ''Hutchins v. Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer'', 253 F.3d 176, 187 (3d Cir. 2001).
And because the Supreme Court has held that the FCA “is intended to reach all types of fraud, without qualification, that might result in financial loss to the Government” and “reaches beyond ‘claims’ which might be legally enforced, to all fraudulent attempts to cause the Government to pay out sums of money,” the term “false or fraudulent claim” should be construed broadly. ''U.S. ex rel. Drescher v. Highmark, Inc.'', 305 F. Supp. 2d 451, 457 (E.D. Pa. 2004).