Category: First-To-File Rule

District Court Rejects “Worthless Services” FCA Claim, Interprets First-to File Bar and Res Judicata in FCA Context

Betsy Sellers

Earlier this month, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed a 2-count False Claims Act (FCA) complaint against Unisys Corporation. United States ex rel. Soodavar v. Unisys Corp., 2016 WL 1367163 (April 5, 2016) (“Soodavar”).  The case addresses several important limits on FCA claims. Count I alleged that certain Unisys employees were so unqualified that their services, which involved installing and...

First Circuit Permits Supplementation of Complaint to Cure First-to-File Jurisdictional Defects

Benjamin Greenberg

The FCA first-to-file bar provides that if an action involving the same subject matter is already pending, “no person other than the Government may intervene or bring a related action based on the facts underlying the pending action.”  31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(5).  Courts are thus deprived of jurisdiction to entertain opportunistic qui tam lawsuits based on facts similar to an already-filed lawsuit.  In May 2015, the...

Ninth Circuit Unanimously Overrules Long-Standing “Original Source” Precedent; Makes it Easier to Qualify as an Original Source Under the FCA

Alex Hontos

For 23 years, the Ninth Circuit required that a relator establish three elements to qualify as an “original source” under the False Claims Act: (1) the relator must have direct and independent knowledge of the information on which her allegations are based; (2) the relator must have voluntarily provided that information to the government before filing her qui tam lawsuit; and (3) the relator must...

D.C. Circuit Interprets the First-to-File Rule Narrowly

Jake Vandelist

A decision this week from the D.C. Circuit shed light on three important issues.  United States ex rel. Heath v. AT&T, Inc., No. 14-7094 (D.C. Cir. June 23, 2015).  In 2008, the appellant, Todd Heath, filed an FCA qui tam suit against Wisconsin Bell, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T.  In that suit Heath alleged that certain employees of Wisconsin Bell made affirmative misrepresentations...

In KBR v. Carter, Supreme Court Clarifies the First-To-File Doctrine and the Statute of Limitations Under the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act

Mike Rowe

Late last month, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous, two-part decision that clarified the meaning of the term “offense” as used in the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (“WSLA”), and the term “pending” as used in the first-to-file doctrine.  The Court held that (i) the suspension of the statute of limitations under the WSLA applies only to criminal offenses; and (ii) a qui tam suit...