False Claims Act Cases
The definition of the false claim act explains that it is an American federal law that imposes liability on persons and companies (typically federal contractors) who defraud governmental programs. You may have heard it referred to as the Lincoln Law. In an effort to fight fraud against the government, this law states that those not affiliated with the government can file actions against those committing fraud and do so as a “relator” and this is the formal way of calling it “whistleblowing”. The term came from instances in which the fraudulent company employed the “relator” who was in effect blowing the whistle on their misconduct.
What It Means To Be A Whistleblower
Let’s say that you have information on a company or organization that is billing the government for products or services not rendered, or maybe they are using false certifications of compliance to sell medication outside of FDA approved uses. Or maybe the misconduct is accounting fraud or securities and commodities manipulation. Whatever evidence or information you posses concerning the misconduct, you can bet that it will mean that wading through the legalities will be difficult without the right attorney at your side. The difficulties of navigating through a whistleblower claim can be treacherous without an experienced lawyer who is able to utilize their resources, legal experience and expertise to conduct a thorough investigation.
If the whistleblower receives a favorable outcome, they can receive between 15 and 30 percent of what was recovered. This of course, can vary depending on many circumstances. An attorney can more accurately uncover what to expect from your claim.
The First To File Rule
Do you have information about a company that has been fraudulent in their actions? Has anyone made a claim against the company that concerns deceitful practices or fraud? Before deciding if you should come forward and make a claim, you should first contact an experienced whistleblower attorney. The attorney will be able to find out if you are the first to file, which is very important as there exists a rule that prevents a whistleblower from filing a claim should another have already filed. This means that if you have information about a company, you shouldn’t wait to speak with an attorney. You should call immediately as if someone else files before you, you could miss out.
There are joint claims should multiple whistleblowers come forward. There are separate claims that can be allowed if both claims are based on separate evidence, but these are rare and your first step is to call a whistleblower lawyer immediately.
Depending on the claim, the time in which you are allowed to file varies. A good rule of thumb for False Claim Act claims is generally six years from the date of the violation or misconduct.
However, some claims should be reported within 30 days and to know if you are within a suitable time from to bring your claim, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney immediately.
Justin is an attorney at Roberts & Roberts and focuses his practice on mass tort litigation, where he specializes in helping individuals who are harmed by recalled or unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. He has earned recognition as a “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers. Prior to joining Roberts & Roberts, Justin served as an attorney in all three branches of Texas’s state government, including as a Briefing Attorney on the Texas Supreme Court. He also represented electric and natural gas utilities in complex regulatory proceedings before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Railroad Commission of Texas. Justin is a published author in the St. Mary’s Law Journal.