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Public Disclosure and Public Information

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to public disclosures and the use of public information in whistleblower claims. You may also be interested in our pages:

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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 fraud, without triggering the public disclosure bar. Although...

Eighth Circuit Rules That Public Disclosure Bar Applies in Drug Price Inflation Suit

Posted  05/31/17
By Hallie Noecker
Early this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit declined to revive a whistleblower’s False Claims Act (FCA) suit, ruling that prior litigation and government reports triggered the statutory public disclosure bar, even though the public disclosures at issue did not mention the defendants in the case. The case, United States ex rel. Lager v. CSL Behring. LLC, concerned fraud in the prescription drug context. The FCA’s...

SEC Awards Whistleblower $3.5 Million For “Bolstering On-Going Investigation”

Posted  05/17/16
By Molly Knobler On Friday, May 13th, the SEC made an award of more than $3.5 million to a whistleblower the agency described as a “company employee whose tip bolstered an ongoing investigation with additional evidence of wrongdoing that strengthened the SEC’s case.” The SEC’s whistleblower program explicitly provides for financial rewards not only to those whose information prompts an investigation, but also to those whose information “significantly contribute[s]” to...

New Clarity On The Public Disclosure Bar For Whistleblowers -- Be Sure You Make The Grade

Posted  03/31/16
By Gordon Schnell (Published in Law360) There continues to be some uncertainty on just how far the so-called public disclosure bar reaches to prevent whistleblowers from bringing suit under the False Claims Act. It is a subject filled with such nuance and fact dependency there may never be complete clarity on how any one case scenario may play out. But thanks to a string of recent court of appeals decisions—four in...

Fourth Circuit Dismisses Lawsuit Based on Lawyer’s Knowledge Under the Public Disclosure Bar of the False Claims Act

Posted  02/22/16
The Fourth Circuit ruled recently that a False Claims Act case must be dismissed because it was based on information that the attorney representing the qui tam plaintiff had learned during a prior litigation.  In doing so, the court applied what has become known as the “public disclosure bar” – a provision in the False Claims Act that strips a court of jurisdiction to hear cases based on information that...

Third Circuit Opens Door Wider For Whistleblowers Under Original Source Exception To False Claims Act Public Disclosure Bar

Posted  02/10/16
By Gordon Schnell
Under the False Claims Act, the public disclosure bar prevents whistleblower suits challenging fraud already disclosed through certain public channels like the news media.  The rule is designed to discourage whistleblower actions based on information already in the public domain, unless it was the whistleblower that actually put it there.  It is supposed to neatly balance the twin-goals of discouraging so-called "parasitic" lawsuits and encouraging whistleblower suits based on true...

Ninth Circuit Victory For Whistleblowers In Narrowing "Public Disclosure" And "First-To-File" Bars To Bringing Qui Tam Actions

Posted  07/10/15
By Gordon Schnell
In a major victory for whistleblowers, the Ninth Circuit in United States ex rel. Hartpence v. Kinetic Concepts, Inc. narrowed the reach of two significant bars to bringing qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act.  Under the so-called "public disclosure" bar, the Ninth Circuit reversed its own precedent and ruled the "original source" exception to the bar does not require the whistleblower to have played a role in the...

Fourth Circuit Joins Other Circuits In Narrow Read of Public Disclosure Bar

Posted  02/5/15
Under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower may be precluded from filing a qui tam lawsuit based on information that has already been publicly disclosed by another source.   This so-called "public disclosure bar" is designed to weed out "parasitic" actions from those brought by whistleblowers with true inside knowledge of fraud.  There has been some disagreement among the courts as to how "public" a disclosure must be to fall within...


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