Constantine Cannon is proud to have partnered with AARP Foundation to represent AARP, AARP Foundation, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging, the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, and the National Health Law Program, as amici curiae in the whistleblower-initiated case of United States ex rel. Angela Ruckh v. Salus Rehabilitation, currently on appeal before the 11th Circuit. The appeal presents an important opportunity for the Court of Appeals to ensure that the FCA continues to be a vital and effective tool to ensure quality care in nursing facilities.
In the trial court, the jury had awarded plaintiffs $350 million on claims that the defendant nursing facility operator had, among other wrongdoing, failed to maintain comprehensive care plans for its Medicare and Medicaid residents, in violation of the False Claims Act (FCA). The district court, however, vacated the jury’s verdict. Citing the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel Escobar, the trial court found that defendants’ failure to create and maintain such plans of care – which are required by state and federal regulations – was not material within the meaning of the FCA. The brief argues that the 11th Circuit should reverse the district court on the grounds that it misapplied the FCA’s materiality requirement when it granted judgment as a matter of law against whistleblower Angela Ruckh.
Read our brief on behalf of AARP and in support of relator Ruckh here.
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