The FCA Insider

The FCA Insider

Insights and updates on False Claims Act Litigation

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Defense Arguments, FCA Litigation

Third Circuit Finds that FCA Retaliation Claims Require a Showing of “But-For” Causation

Earlier this year, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in the case of DiFiore v. CSL Behring, LLC.  DiFiore v. CSL Behring, LLC, 879 F.3d 71, 73 (3d Cir. 2018). The opinion set forth the precedent that “but-for causation” is required… Continue Reading

Defense Arguments, FCA Litigation

Eleventh Circuit Expands the Divide on the FCA’s Statute of Limitations

The FCA’s statute of limitations, 31 U.S.C. § 3731(b), has been a source of confusion and disagreement amongst the courts and litigants for years. The disagreement is focused primarily on whether a relator in a non-intervened case can take advantage of the three-year government knowledge/ten-year lookback provision under subsection (b)(2) or whether the relator is… Continue Reading

Defense Arguments, FCA Litigation

Ninth Circuit’s Application of the FCA’s Government-Action Bar Provides Finality to Defendants

The FCA contains several provisions that are aimed at discouraging “parasitic” or duplicative qui tam actions. One such provision, known as the “government-action bar,” prohibits relators from bring a qui tam action “based upon allegations or transactions which are the subject of a civil suit . . . in which the Government is already a… Continue Reading

Defense Arguments

7th Circ. May Be Willing To End FCA Circuit Split

The False Claims Act’s “public disclosure bar” calls for dismissal of complaints by qui tam plaintiffs (or “relators”) whose allegations have already been publicly disclosed. The primary aim of the bar is preventing parasitic suits based on public information. Courts generally agree that disclosure to the government alone does not count as disclosure to the… Continue Reading

Defense Arguments, FCA Litigation

Third Circuit Ruling Reflects the Narrowed Scope of the Public Disclosure Bar under the Affordable Care Act

The public disclosure bar is a statutorily created hurdle that plaintiffs must cross to successfully maintain a False Claims Act suit. The principle was originally enacted to prevent individuals from filing “parasitic” False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuits that were not based on their independent knowledge. The public disclosure bar has undergone several statutory changes during… Continue Reading

Defense Arguments

Circuit Court Rules that Ambiguous Regulatory Requirements Cannot Give Rise to FCA Liability

A recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit evaluated whether a regulatory requirement was sufficiently ambiguous that it precluded a finding of liability under the False Claims Act (FCA). United States ex rel. Purcell v. MWI Corporation involved the sale of water pumps to Nigeria.  The relator… Continue Reading

Defense Arguments, FCA Litigation

Defendants Obtain Summary Judgment In an FCA Action Because the Plaintiffs Failed to Identify Evidence of Specific False Claims

It is often stated that the sine qua non (the indispensable and essential action) of a violation of the False Claims Act (FCA) is the submission of a false or fraudulent claim. This principle has been recognized and cited in federal courts throughout the country. A recent case that was decided in the United States… Continue Reading

Defense Arguments, FCA Litigation

Supreme Court Clarifies the First to File Bar

The first to file bar is a limitation on the rights of members of the public to commence certain litigation under the FCA.  In essence, the first to file bar prevents a member of the public from commencing an action based upon facts that have already been placed at issue in another piece of FCA litigation.   Specifically, “[w]hen a person brings an action… Continue Reading

Damages, Defense Arguments, FCA Litigation

Supreme Court Rejects Application of Wartime Tolling to Civil False Claims Actions

The cost and risk associated with allegations under the FCA create a heightened importance on defining the scope of the claims that are at issue.  Accordingly, the applicable statute of limitations is critical in determining both whether allegations of FCA are timely filed and in limiting the extent of the claims at issue if the… Continue Reading

Defense Arguments

Does the False Claims Act Preempt An Attorney Relator’s Ethical Obligations?

In United States ex rel. Holmes v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 1:13-cv-85, 2015 WL 3504525 (S.D. Miss. June 3, 2015), the court answered this question with a resounding “no” and provided a laundry list of ethical violations that the attorney Relator had violated in attempting to advance his qui tam action.  The Holmes court’s holding… Continue Reading

Defense Arguments

Can A Law Firm Qualify as an Original Source?

Although a Federal district court refrained from providing a definitive answer to this question, it appears unlikely given the court’s holding and reasoning in United States v. U.S. Bank, N.A., No. 3:13-cv-704, 2015 WL 2238660 (N.D. Ohio May 12, 2015).  Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (“ABLE”), a non-profit law firm focused on assisting low… Continue Reading

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