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Court Decision

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to court decisions involving whistleblower laws. You may also be interested in our pages:

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“Objective Falsity” Is Not Required Under the False Claims Act: A Legally False Opinion May Suffice

Posted  03/6/20
Gavel close-up
In a significant win for whistleblowers, a federal appellate court held this week that, in order to determine liability under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower need not prove that a claim is “objectively” false.  Instead, the Court held that, consistent with common law, a claim can be false under the FCA if based not on objectively verifiable facts, but on non-compliance with statutory or regulatory...

First Circuit Revives Whistleblower Suit Against PharMerica, Rejecting Public Disclosure Challenge

Posted  02/28/20
boston-first-circuit-building
Rejecting an argument that only a fraudster could love, the First Circuit Court of Appeals revived a whistleblower’s lawsuit and rightly recognized that whistleblowers can have “direct” knowledge of fraud even if they did not themselves participate in the fraud. In United States ex rel. Banigan & Templin, et al. v. PharMerica, Inc., the First Circuit interpreted the so-called “original source” provision of...

Treble Damages Awarded in Medicare Whistleblower Case

Posted  02/21/20
specimen jar
The Fifth Circuit upheld a 2018 lower court decision this week, finding defendant BestCare Laboratory Services, LLC and its owner Karim Maghareh liable for treble damages—to the tune of just over $30 million—under the False Claims Act. BestCare provided clinical testing services for nursing home residents, many of whom were Medicare beneficiaries. Rather than billing for a technician’s travel to and from the...

Second Circuit Upholds SEC Denial of Whistleblower Rewards to Three Claimants in Deutsche Bank Settlement

Posted  11/13/19
Disorganized paper records stacked on table
In May 2015, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay a $55 million penalty to the SEC to settle charges that its financial statements misreported the value of a portfolio of derivatives, failing to take account of the material risk of potential losses associated with the derivatives.  Subsequently, in November 2017, the SEC announced that it had awarded whistleblower rewards totaling $16 million to two whistleblowers “whose...

Whistleblower Suit Revived by Third Circuit Despite Settlement in Related State Court Action

Posted  08/13/19
Judge's bench with empty chair and gavel
In United States ex rel. Jean Charte v. American Tutor, Inc., the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed dismissal of a whistleblower’s qui tam action under the False Claims Act, giving the whistleblower the right to pursue her claims. The district court had dismissed the action under state law res judicata principals, because the relator had settled a defamation action brought in state court against her by...

Intermountain Settles Dispute Pending Before Supreme Court, Leaving 9(b) Ambiguity Unresolved

Posted  05/24/19
Doctor Holding Heart in Palms
Earlier this month, a Utah-based hospital chain announced it would settle whistleblower Dr. Gerald Polukoff’s case alleging the hospital performed unnecessary heart surgeries on Medicare patients, thereby overcharging the federal government in violation of the False Claims Act (FCA). Defendant Intermountain Health, the largest healthcare provider in the Intermountain West, had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to...

Second Relator to File Wins First-to-File Fight in First Circuit

Posted  05/16/19
Runners on track race to cross finish line
After Millennium Health agreed in 2015 to pay $227 million plus interest to settle claims that it submitted false claims bills for excessive urine testing, $34 million – 15% of the total – was set aside to resolve the competing claims of more than seven different relators who had filed qui tam cases against Millennium that were dismissed as part of the settlement.  Since that time, several of the relators have...

Whistleblowers Win One in Supreme Court with Clarification on Statute of Limitations for False Claims Act Actions

Posted  05/15/19
U.S. Supreme Court building and plaza
In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court affirmed that the False Claims Act’s statute of limitations applies in the same manner to all whistleblower-initiated actions, regardless of whether the United States has intervened in the action or not.  The decision resolves a three-way split among the federal circuit courts. In the underlying litigation, U.S. ex rel. Hunt v. Cochise...

Data Whistleblower Case Raises Question of What is a Public Disclosure

Posted  02/21/19
Rows of chairs with people waiting in hospital billing office
As regular readers know, we have been closely tracking the progress of data analysis firm Integra Med Analytics’ whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act against Providence Health and its consultant J.A. Thomas and Associates, Inc. (JATA).  The case alleges a conspiracy between Providence and JATA to upcode for specific Major Complications or Comorbidities (MCCs). This case is part of a growing number of...

Federal Judge — CFTC Can Regulate “Cryptocurrency” Fraud

Posted  10/10/18
Cryptocurrency
In good news for investors, a Massachusetts federal judge recently ruled that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has the authority to fight fraud in the booming virtual currency market. The decision follows on the heels of a ruling in New York where a different federal judge reached the same conclusion. Through the Commodity Exchange Act, Congress authorized the CFTC to fight fraud involving...
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