Category: Determining Actual Damages

Early Resolution of FCA Civil Damages Under the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause? A Pending Case in Washington May Provide the Answer

Benjamin Greenberg

The False Claims Act authorizes civil penalties between $10,781 to $21,563 per false claim, as well as three times the amount of damages which the government sustains (i.e. treble damages). The Eighth Amendment provides that “[e]xcessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” The Supreme Court of the United States has recognized that a statutory penalty constitutes...

Government Contractor Awarded Attorney Fees for Defending Against “Unreasonable” FCA Claim

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently concluded that a contractor should obtain an award of attorney fees for having to defend against an “unreasonable” False Claims Act (“FCA”) suit.  In United States ex. rel. Wall v. Circle C. Constr. LLC, the Government sued a contractor that built warehouses for the U.S. Army. During construction, it was alleged that the contractor’s subcontractor paid two electricians...

Sixth Circuit Reminds Government of its Burden to Prove Actual Damages in False Claims Act Litigation

Benjamin Greenberg

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated a federal district court’s award of $657 Million for treble damages under the False Claims Act (“FCA”), restitution, and prejudgment interest.  See United States v. United Technologies Corp., No. 13-4057, 2015 WL 1516215, *11-17 (6th Cir. Apr. 6, 2015).  The Sixth Circuit’s decision serves as a useful reminder that it is the...