Articles and Blogs

False Claims Act Defense

False Claims Cost More: DOJ Increases Civil Penalties for False Claims Act Violations

[07/01/20]

Posted on July 1, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense, Press Room

Published by: Hall Render

On June 19, 2020, the Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) announced its Final Rule[1] increasing the penalties assessable under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The DOJ raised the minimum penalty for a single false claim from $11,181 to $11,665; the maximum penalty from $22,363 to $23,331. Under the False Claims Act,[2] any person who... READ MORE

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Ninth Circuit Shuts Down “Objective Falsehood” Pleading Requirement Under the FCA

[04/02/20]

Posted on April 2, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

An accepted doctrine of FCA pleading requires whistleblowers or the Government to assert an “objective falsehood” in their complaints. Last week, the Ninth Circuit nixed the requirement. The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal tied to a failure to plead an objective falsehood under FCA. The Court held that whistleblowers or the Government... READ MORE

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One Is Not Enough: Court Clarifies Whistleblower’s Burden in High Volume FCA Action

[03/25/20]

Posted on March 25, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

The Southern District of Indiana recently held that a whistleblower must present sufficient evidence to support each alleged false claim, not just one, to survive summary judgment.[1] This holding is a win for FCA defendants that deal in a high volume of claims submitted to the government—like hospitals—and requires whistleblowers to identify every claim... READ MORE

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Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Piggybacked FCA Complaint

[03/24/20]

Posted on March 24, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

Earlier this week, the Second Circuit in Vierczhalek v. MedImmune, Inc.[1] affirmed the dismissal of a relator’s amended complaint, finding she was not an “original source” of new allegations that piggybacked on a public disclosure. Facts of the Case Relator Susan Vierczhalek, M.D., filed a qui tam action in 2009 alleging that drug manufacturer... READ MORE

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FCA’s Shadow Looms Over COVID-19 Pandemic Response

[03/20/20]

Posted on March 20, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

On March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a National Emergency Declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress is passing new emergency legislation daily, and the states are declaring emergencies and issuing orders out of governors’ offices and Departments of Health. While the global extent of the crisis is unprecedented, the country has... READ MORE

Third Circuit Emphasizes Distinction Between Falsity and Scienter in FCA Cases

[03/05/20]

Posted on March 5, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

In a matter of first impression, the Third Circuit yesterday held that conflicting medical opinions can create a genuine dispute of material fact as to the element of falsity in a False Claims Act action.[1] Facts of the Case In U.S. v. Care Alternatives, relators alleged that Care Alternatives, a hospice facility, “admitted patients... READ MORE

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Previously Settled FCA Case Resurrected by New “Original Source” Relator

[02/25/20]

Posted on February 25, 2020 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued an opinion creating a national divide on when a relator is an “original source” of an FCA claim, finding that a relator’s secondhand knowledge of fraud was “direct” knowledge. Facts of the Case In United States ex rel. Banigan v. PharMerica, Inc.[1], a... READ MORE

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E.D. Wisconsin: Boilerplate Defenses Insufficient; Challenges Wasteful

[07/31/19]

Posted on July 31, 2019 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

Litigators and litigants should always be wary of templates, unconsidered boilerplate pleadings—and unnecessary motion practice. Last week, a federal court in Wisconsin struck boilerplate affirmative defenses that lacked “short and plain statement of the facts and…the necessary elements of the defenses.”[1] The ruling reinforced the Seventh Circuit’s standards for affirmative defenses—even though the judge... READ MORE

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Greed and Creative Pleading: A Formula for Dismissal Under the FCA

[07/11/19]

Posted on July 11, 2019 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

On July 5, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion enforcing Supreme Court precedent that the False Claims Act (“FCA”) should be reserved for true fraud against the government—not “garden-variety regulatory violations.” In U.S. ex rel. Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP v. BASF Corp.,[1] the D.C. Circuit reviewed... READ MORE

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Supreme Court Extends the FCA Statute of Limitations for Whistleblowers

[05/20/19]

Posted on May 20, 2019 in False Claims Act Defense

Published by: Hall Render

This week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the government’s 10-year deadline to file FCA actions could be extended to whistleblowers. The Court’s decision in Cochise Consultancy, Inc. et al. v. United States ex rel. Hunt[1] resolved a circuit split that had dogged the courts, whistleblowers and defendants for decades. Health care providers... READ MORE

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