A federal district court denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings in a qui tam action and reaffirmed the right of whistleblowers who report Medicare fraud to recover civil penalties under the False Claims Act.
In USA and Elin Baklid-Kunz v. Halifax Hospital Medical Center, et al., Case No. 6:09-cv-1002-Orl-31TBS (M.D.Fla. February 6, 2014), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida held that whistleblowers who bring a qui tam action under the False Claims Act have standing under Article III of the Constitution to pursue claims for civil penalties in connection with a lawsuit alleging Medicare fraud.
In refusing to dismiss the claims, the Court cited to the Supreme Court’s decision in Vermont Agency of Natural Resources v. U.S. ex rel. Stevens, 529 U.S. 765, 771-78 (2000), as well as the recent Fourth Circuit decision in United States ex rel. Bunk v. Gosselin World Wide Moving, — F.3d –, 2013 WL 6671279 (4th Cir. Dec. 19, 2013). Both of those decisions held that, under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower or qui tam “relator” has standing to bring claims arising out of injuries to the United States, including claims for civil penalties.
As a result, the Court reaffirmed a whistleblower’s right to recover for Medicare and other fraud committed against the government. Read here about reporting Medicare and healthcare fraud.
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If you have discovered evidence of government fraud, contact an experienced False Claims Act attorney before blowing the whistle. You may be entitled to a substantial reward and the legal protections afforded to whistleblowers under state and federal laws. Berger Montague attorneys are nationally recognized experts in Whistleblower/Qui Tam actions with over a decade of experience pursuing these complex fraud cases. For more information or to schedule your confidential consultation, use the form on this page or call us at 1-800-424-6690.