Industry Reactions to Whistleblower Cases

People do not look for a whistleblower attorney when the company is conducting itself ethically and making money legitimately from providing legitimate services to the government for a fair price. In fact, most companies do the right thing and the work of whistleblowers supports their practices by cracking down on their competitors who would cheat the government to get ahead. However, overall the industry reaction to whistleblower cases will vary, and a whistleblower should hire an experienced attorney as soon as they can.

There has been an industry-wide understanding including efforts by various pharmaceutical companies to improve practices with the respect to off-label marketing and other practices due to whistleblower cases. There has been a growing trend in the last five years of greater awareness of what representatives can do. For example, those involved with bad defense contractors, the bad division of a defense contractor, a bad healthcare provider, or even a bad group of doctors or clinic, will likely contact an attorney.

It can be quite intimidating to be a whistleblower on a corporate scale. Often facing huge companies, individuals may be intimidated by the scale of the claim, and how it can have an impact on their lives. The corporate reaction to whistleblower cases can sometimes be severe, which is why a whistleblower should hire an experienced attorney immediately. The right lawyer will be able to effectively process the case, and help to prove your claims in a court of law.

Changes in Practices

An example of how industry practices are changing is the changing attitudes in pharmaceutical companies and their pay towards sales representatives. Many companies have moved their representatives from a commission based pay to a straight salary on the theory that having the monetary incentive to sell more in that industry was too dangerous. Additionally, there is often a corporate integrity agreement with the government following a successful False Claims Act case to monitor practices. If the company’s practices do not change they will face another claim.

Corporate Impact of Whistleblowing

Sometimes, the corporate reaction to whistleblower cases can be overwhelming, and it can be quite hard for a whistleblower’s case to be taken seriously. While being a whistleblower can often be difficult, a successful claim will cause a company to face major big fines and require a change in practices.

Practices change slowly as a result of egregious behavior being exposed by a whistleblower. In addition, whistleblowers can obtain a large reward for exposing fraud and bringing a company to justice and change an industry

Role of the Whistleblower

Whistleblowers have a role in bringing information to the government through laws that are on the civil side of legal jurisprudence. They do not directly initiate any criminal investigations. The False Claims Act is a civil statute, The Securities and Exchange Commission whistleblower office is a civil matter, and now the Department of Justice has recently said that they are going to begin taking whistleblower complaints. An attorney is not directly involved with which entities pursue whistleblower cases.

The whistleblower is not involved in whether or not anyone should or does go to jail. They cooperate with the government when asked, and that is really the extent of the whistleblower’s authority.

Although it is difficult to prosecute individuals because the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal action, which is harder burden for the government to carry, there may be many other considerations. This has not prevented the government from obtaining large false claims act awards and settlements.