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Govt. Can Dismiss FCA Qui Tam Suits Over Relator’s Objection
July 19, 2023
In June, the Supreme Court upheld a Third Circuit Ruling but disagreed with its rationale. See the article referenced above for the nuances, but the upshot is that the government can move for dismissal of False Claims Act “qui tam” suits over the relator’s (complainant’s) objection. The FCA deputizes private citizens (“relators”) to sue on the government’s behalf those defrauding the government by submitting false claims for payment (“qui tam” suits). Relators stand to collect up to 30 percent of any recovery. The Supreme Court ruled that once the government intervenes, it assumes primary responsibility for the action. If it offers a good argument that the burdens of continued litigation outweigh its benefits, courts should grant a motion to dismiss despite a relator’s “credible assessment to the contrary.” A key takeaway, according to the Littler firm, is that employers facing qui tam actions should strategically consider the issue of burdensome discovery in the course of litigation.
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