Category: Retaliation Claims

A New Circuit Split: FCA Protects Former Employees from Post-Employment Retaliation in the Sixth

Briana Al Taqatqa

Over a vigorous dissent last week, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and held the False Claims Act’s anti-retaliation provision protects former employees alleging post-termination retaliation. United States ex rel. Felten v. William Beaumont Hosp., No. 20-1002, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 9387 (6th Cir. Mar....

False Claims Act Anti-Retaliation Claim Leveled at PPP Recipient

Roxanna Gonzalez

A former employee of Great Dane Petroleum Contractors, Inc. a full-service Pollutant Control and General Contractor based in Florida, alleged in a recently-filed lawsuit that the company misused nearly $3 million in Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) funds.  See Rucker v. Great Dane Petroleum Contractors, Inc., No. 21-cv-207 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 10, 2021).  As another wave of applications for PPP funds come in, employers must remain...

Tread Carefully: District of Utah Grants Motion For Attorneys’ Fees After Unsupported FCA Claim

Samuel F. B. Audley

On February 3, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah granted a motion for attorneys’ fees against Plaintiff Kelly Sorenson (“Sorenson”), finding that the claims Sorenson asserted against his former employer under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) were “clearly frivolous” and compensable under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d)(4). United States ex rel. Sorenson v. Wadsworth Bros. Constr. Co., No. 2:16-cv-875, 2021 U.S. Dist....

In the First FCA Appellate Case of 2021, the Fourth Circuit Affirms the Dismissal of Relators’ Claims for Lack of Scienter and Failing to Engage in Protected Activity

Kirk Schuler

On January 8, 2021, in the first appellate decision of the year addressing a False Claims Act case, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the summary judgment dismissal of relators’ claims that a manufacturer of allergenic extracts violated the FCA.  Skibo v. Greer Labs., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 508 (Jan. 8, 2021) (per curiam). Like most FCA cases that arrive in the United States Courts of Appeals,...

Underwriter Failed to Meet Employer’s Expectations, and thus His FCA Retaliation Burden, at Least in the Eighth Circuit

Briana Al Taqatqa

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the Eastern District of Missouri’s dismissal of appellant’s retaliation claim under the False Claims Act, as well as his state law wrongful discharge claim and quasi-contract claims. The decision, Sherman v. Berkadia Commer. Mortg. LLC, No. 19-1373, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 11713 (8th Cir. Apr. 14, 2020), is yet another example of the...

D.C. Circuit Weighs in on the FCA’s Anti-Retaliation Statute

Benjamin Greenberg

Last month, the D.C. Circuit revived a False Claims Act (“FCA”) retaliatory discrimination claim by a former employee of Howard University contending that she was fired by the University for objecting both internally and externally to the University’s alleged failure to maintain the humane laboratory animal living conditions on which the University’s receipt of federal funding was conditioned. See Singletary v. Howard University, No. 18-7158 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 20,...