FCA NOW

Ninth Circuit Holds that Indian Tribes are not “Persons” subject to FCA

Alex Hontos

In a brief unpublished memorandum opinion released on June 15, 2015, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of an FCA claim brought against a tribe, holding that tribes do not fit within the FCA’s definition of “persons.”  See Thomas Howard and Robert Weldy, ex rel. United States v. Shoshone Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, No. 13-16118 (9th Cir. June 15, 2015).  Whistleblowers Howard and Berg, former tribal employees, alleged that the tribes...

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...

First Circuit Takes “Broad View” of Falsity for Pleading Purposes

Mike Rowe

In a break with other Circuits, the First Circuit recently reaffirmed its broad definition of a “false statement’ under the False Claims Act.  United States ex rel. Escobar v. Universal Health Services, Inc., No. 14-1423 (1st Cir. Mar. 17, 2015).  Notably, the court continues to take a “broad view of what may constitute a false or fraudulent statement to avoid ‘foreclosing FCA liability in situations...

Fourth Circuit Clarifies Meaning of False Claims Act’s “Public Disclosure” Bar

Alex Hontos

In an important decision regarding the False Claims Act’s much-litigated “public disclosure” bar, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently concluded that the disclosure of reports and audits to government officials, without further distribution to the public or dissemination in the “public domain,” does not implicate the FCA’s “public disclosure” provision.  See United States ex rel. Wilson v. Graham Cnty. Soil...