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Fifth Circuit Finds Government Knowledge Defense Not Appropriate On Motion To Dismiss

Posted  01/8/15
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Under the so-called "government knowledge" defense, the government's awareness of a fraud can defeat False Claims Act liability on the ground the defendant did not "knowingly" defraud the government since the government acted with full information.  It is not a statutory defense but merely a way for a defendant to rebut the intent (or scienter) element of a False Claims Act...

Sixth Circuit Finds Job Applicants Not Covered By FCA Whistleblower Retaliation Provisions

Posted  12/4/14
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team The whistleblower retaliation provisions of the False Claims Act offer broad relief to "employees" who are terminated, suspended, harassed or otherwise discriminated against by their employers for engaging in protected whistleblowing activity.  Congress amended the statute in 2009 to expand these provisions beyond employees to also reach "contractors" and "agents" of a...

False Claims Act Scores Continue to Pile Up

Posted  10/30/14
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team It was only two weeks ago when we reported on three major False Claims Act wins with the government taking home more than $90 million in fines and penalties and the whistleblowers getting a $10 million piece of the pie.  See Big Week for Whistleblowers.  Then there was last week’s $175 million pre-trebled jury verdict against guardrail maker Trinity Industries for lacing our...

Court Approves Statistical Sampling in False Claims Act Cases

Posted  10/16/14
By Jason Enzler A district court has upheld the use of statistical sampling in a False Claims Act case. As the court discussed in its decision, the use of sampling in False Claims Act litigation is not new. But it generally has been limited to establishing damages or to cases where the use of sampling is not contested. In United States ex rel. Martin v. Life Care Centers of America, Inc., however, the court...

D.C. Circuit Opines on What Constitutes Knowledge of Falsity Under the False Claims Act

Posted  09/11/14
By Jason Enzler The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion recently affirming a trial court’s grant of summary judgment against a qui tam relator.  The ruling in U.S. ex rel. Folliard v. Government Acquisitions, Inc. dealt with two issues: whether the lower court properly denied discovery of certain information and whether the defendant had “knowingly” submitted false claims...

Case Tests Tension Between False Claims Act and First Amendment

Posted  09/4/14
By Marlene Koury The much claimed but never proven tension between the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and First Amendment is being tested again in United States v. Millenium Pharmaceuticals Inc., currently pending in the Eastern District of California.  The whistleblower, a former pharmaceutical sales representative, alleges in his complaint that Millennium Pharmaceuticals illegally promoted the off-label use of...

Barker Decision Extends Attorney-Client Privilege Waiver to False Claims Act Cases

Posted  09/4/14
The attorney-client privilege is perhaps the most critical component of the attorney-client relationship.  As the Supreme Court declared in its landmark Upjohn decision, the privilege exists "to encourage full and frank communication between attorneys and their clients and thereby promote broader public interests in the observation of law and administration of justice."  As most would agree, without the privilege...

First Circuit Rules on Tax Deductibility of False Claims Act Settlements

Posted  08/28/14
By Jason Enzler The First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision recently on a matter of first impression for the circuit: whether courts may consider factors outside of settlement agreements in False Claims Act cases in order to determine whether portions of a settlement can be deducted from a defendant’s tax liability. In ruling that courts can indeed look beyond the agreements, the First Circuit in...

DOJ Catch of the Week -- Bank of America

Posted  08/22/14
This week's Department of Justice "catch of the week" goes to Bank of America.  Yesterday, the North Carolina based banking giant agreed to pay $16.65 billion to resolve federal and state mortgage fraud claims against the bank and its former and current subsidiaries, including Countrywide Financial Corporation and Merrill Lynch.  It is the largest civil settlement with a single entity in American history.   See 

Tagged in: Catch of the Week, FCA Federal, FIRREA, Housing and Mortgage Fraud,

DOJ Catch of the Week – Vascular Solutions

Posted  08/1/14
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team This week's Department of Justice "catch of the week" goes to Vascular Solutions Inc (VSI).  On Monday, the Minneapolis-based medical device maker agreed to pay $520,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by marketing a product for sealing veins without FDA approval.  Specifically, the government charged that VSI marketed and sold its "Vari-Lase...
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