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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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Question of the Week — Is the use of public nuisance law against J&J for its role in the opioid crisis appropriate?

Posted  08/29/19
The landmark $572M opioid verdict in Oklahoma against Johnson & Johnson stemmed from a single claim: “public nuisance” under state law.  Other cases against opioid manufacturers, including whistleblower cases, involve claims for fraud, unlawful marketing, improper prescriptions, kickbacks, violating the Controlled Substances Act by failing to report suspicious purchases, and even flooding the black market.  But...

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...

Supreme Court rules in favor of position advocated by Constantine Cannon partner Henry Su on behalf of The Center for International Environmental Law and others in Jam v. International Finance Corp

Posted  03/8/19
Metal sign for International Finance Corporation World Bank Group at entrance to building
Can the World Bank and other international organizations be sued for investments gone awry? That was the question, broadly speaking, that the Supreme Court answered in Jam v. International Finance Group, a case brought by Indian fishermen and farmers from the state of Gujarat whose waters and lands were destroyed by a power plant financed by the International Finance Group (IFC). The group of farmers sued the...

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...

DOJ Affirms its Materiality Provision but Threatens to Dismiss Gilead FCA Case

Posted  12/7/18
Supreme Court Building
On November 30, 2018, the United States filed its amicus curiae brief before the Supreme Court in Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Campie (“Gilead”). The brief highlights two key topics in False Claims Act (“FCA”) litigation: (1) the interpretation of materiality under Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 19889 (2016) (“Escobar”) and (2) the impact 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...

Third Circuit Clarifies the Public Disclosure Bar in United States ex rel. Silver v. PharMerica

Posted  09/7/18
Whistleblower Marc Silver secured a victory from the Third Circuit on September 4, 2018, which held that his action was not blocked by the “public disclosure bar” of the False Claims Act, reversing a lower court that had dismissed his action. The Third Circuit’s opinion appropriately recognizes that a whistleblower can use non-public information as a bridge between public information and allegations of...
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