If you have considered filing a case using the False Claims Act, you may have questions on what to expect from a False Claims case. Contact a False Claims Act lawyer to get answers to those questions and learn more about your potential case.
Anyone who knows that fraud is being committed, particularly fraud against the government, should get legal advice, because it is usually a bigger problem to deal with than a person might initially think. Trying to figure out whether you have a False Claims Act case or some other kind of case is important. One of the reasons to call somebody who understands the False Claims Act is that going public with these allegations can make it harder to pursue a False Claims Act case.
That being said, there are other types of cases where going public may make a lot of sense. You can only go public so many times, so you really want to know if you have a False Claims Act case or not before you decide what to do.
There are all kinds of different Whistleblower Cases and all kinds of different reasons why somebody may have a legitimate reason to sue, and it is good to know whether or not the False Claims Act applies to your case before you make any decisions. With that in mind, getting legal advice regarding what to expect in that regard is a good idea under almost any circumstances.
What Should a Whistleblower Expect From a False Claims Act Case?
A whistleblower should expect that their allegations would get seriously investigated, and they can expect that it will take some time for that to happen. False Claims Act cases can go any number of ways: the government can decide the case has no merit and the plaintiff and their attorneys can decide not to pursue the case, the government can, (for reasons that it may or may not reveal) decide not to pursue the case, the plaintiff can decide to pursue the case on their own, or the government can intervene and take over the case. In any of these scenarios, anything, from nothing happening to a large settlement or even litigation is possible.
To say for sure what one can expect from a False Claims Acts case, you may need a crystal ball. They are complicated cases, and they involve a great deal of complex, factual issues. Obviously, seasoned lawyers only file cases that they believe to be meritorious, but sometimes it is hard to know how it will actually turn out in the end.
Necessary Information for Filing a False Claims Act Case
First and foremost, a whistleblower must know why an action constitutes fraud against the government. Specifically, they should have information that explains why the conduct they are describing is fraud against the government. Not knowing how much money is involved doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t bring the case, but you do have to know why it is fraud and explain what the fraudulent activity involved is in order to be able to bring the False Claims Act case.
What Makes a Good Case?
A good False Claims Act case is one in which the plaintiff can explain the actual fraud relatively quickly in about a paragraph. What makes things difficult is always that the industry involved is complicated, as are false claims procedures. If the harm and the lie by the potential defendant are not easily understandable, it may not be as good of a case. For example, in defense industry cases or health care cases, there is a lot to become familiar withand make the government familiar with in order for them to want to proceed with the case.
The Expansive Nature of Cases
False Claims Act are an unusual category in many ways including that there is almost no such thing as a small one. As a result people can be certain that the defense counsel or defense bar are going to fight pretty hard and are going to summon serious resources to do so. As a result, few plaintiffs should expect their DC False Claims Act lawyers to file and pursue a case that they do not really believe is meritorious.
Essentially, if attorneys can see a major problem with the case at the outset, certainly the government and the defense bar are going to see that problem as well. Attorneys may not know every fact with respect to a case because a whistleblower may not know some things that may pertain to the case upon investigation or have an impact on it, but that is the purpose of the analysis most of them bring when they try to figure out which cases to file under this law.
Difficult False Claims Cases for Rule 9B
It can be difficult proceeding under a large defense contracting case, because being able to obtain invoices can be difficult. Saying which is the false claim that was made can be difficult as well. Many Courts require details under heightened pleading requirements of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 9B. Furthermore, there are a lot of types of cases where obtaining the actual claim may be more difficult than one would think. If it is an ongoing contract, a whistleblower may know for certain that everything about that contract is not up to specification, yet some court may ask where the invoice is. Depending on what the courts require to overcome that burden, some cases are more difficult than others.
It depends a great deal upon the information an attorney’s client has. Generally, in Medicare and Medicaid cases, the government at least can subpoena invoices to help overcome the burden in that regard.