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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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Fifth Circuit Affirms Government Dismissal Of Cases Brought By Corporate Whistleblower

Posted  07/16/21
By Leah Judge
gavel on bench
Last week, a three-judge panel of the Court of the Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sided with the government in its bid to dismiss a whistleblower case brought by a limited liability company against pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly and Bayer.  The case offers another example of the government flexing its dismissal power in the wake of the Granston Memo, a 2018 Department of Justice directive to winnow False Claims Act...

Court of Appeals Upholds SEC Denial of Whistleblower Award

Posted  02/18/21
Bicycle messenger blurred by speeding on street
A whistleblower who was denied an award by the SEC lost his appeal to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, resulting in a rare court opinion addressing the SEC Whistleblower Reward Program. The court agreed with the SEC that the whistleblower, who had reported information regarding Bank of America and argued that he had worked extensively with DOJ, had not shown that he was entitled to a whistleblower award from...

Eleventh Circuit Revives VA Mortgage Fraud Whistleblower Case

Posted  01/22/21
By Leah Judge
mortgage papers with gavel, cash and magnifying glass
Last week, a three-judge panel on the Eleventh Circuit breathed new life into a fifteen-year-old mortgage fraud lawsuit brought by two whistleblowers under the False Claims Act.  The opinion, United States ex rel. Bibby v. Mortgage Investors Corporation adds another voice to the chorus of circuit courts applying the Supreme Court’s landmark 2016 ruling on the FCA’s “materiality” standard, Universal Health...

“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...

Appellate Decision Raises Questions for Relators Seeking a Share from Alternate Remedies

Posted  11/4/19
By Michael Ronickher
3rd Circuit Seal
The Third Circuit caught industry headlines when it was reported to have ruled on October 28, 2019, that a whistleblower had no right to an award based on a portion of criminal fines or forfeitures. That would upend longstanding rights of relators to share in the proceeds of “related proceedings.” Thankfully, the real scope of the opinion is less far-reaching, though it would be wise for relators to consider...

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...
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