What is Qui Tam Litigation?
The False Claims Act and Qui Tam Provisions
The False Claims Act prohibits the submission of false claims or statements to the government. Violators face fines of $5,500 to $11,000 per claim, plus treble damages. Whistleblowers (referred to as relators) can initiate qui tam cases by filing a sealed complaint in court with the assistance of an attorney.
The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow individuals and their qui tam lawyers to bring a claim on behalf of the government against entities that submit false claims to the government. If the government recovers, whistleblowers typically receive between 15% and 30% of the total recovery.
To speak with qui tam lawyers, please fill out the free case analysis form to the right, call (215) 875-4699, or visit our Contact Us page.
Origins and History of Qui Tam Law
The False Claims Act was passed on March 2, 1863, during the Civil War under the administration of President Abraham Lincoln. The False Claims act, also known as “Lincoln’s Law,” was enacted to deter fraud against the government by suppliers to the Union Army.
The False Claims Act contained qui tam provisions. “Qui tam” derives from the Latin phrase qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, meaning “who as well for the king as for himself sues in this matter.”
The False Claims Act remained unchanged until 1943, when Congress altered the qui tam provisions, including a cut in the whistleblowers potential award. After this revision, the False Claims Act was rarely used.
In the mid-1980s, Congress again amended the False Claims Act. The amended False Claims Act provided that whistleblowers who brought successful cases were entitled to recover 15-30% of the government’s recovery. The False Claims Act was again amended in 2009.
Prior to the 1986 amendments, the majority of cases brought under the False Claims Act involved defense contracting fraud. Currently, the majority of cases brought under the False Claims Act are healthcare fraud cases.
Seeking Qui Tam Lawyers?
From extensive experience, we understand that whistleblowers have deep concerns regarding their part in qui tam cases. We understand how being a qui tam relator may affect their career and their family.
Berger Montague has represented whistleblowers in complex qui tam litigation and understands that the focus of our work starts and ends with the whistleblower. To speak with one of our qui tam lawyers, you may call us at (215) 875-4699 for a confidential qui tam claim analysis, or continue reading below.
We begin the process by taking the time to get to know our potential clients. First, we explain to each potential client the advantages and disadvantages of being a whistleblower. We explain the process of filing a qui tam complaint and ensure they have a basic understanding of the qui tam provisions and whistleblowers laws.
If the potential client is prepared to move along, we start a detailed investigation of the alleged fraud on the government, including, but not limited to: reviewing all relevant documentation, conducting multiple interviews, and consulting with various specialists, if need be.
A vital step to success in qui tam cases is to receive the government’s interest. State and federal prosecutors listen to hundreds of whistleblower complaints every year. If a whistleblower’s case has been thoroughly investigated and is not presented to the government in a favorable way, a case with substantial promise may not receive the attention it deserves from the government.
After the initial investigation, our qui tam lawyers prepare and file a detailed complaint, positioned to receive the federal and state government’s interest in moving on with the qui tam case.
Types of Qui Tam Cases/Lawsuits:
- Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, & Medical Device Fraud
- Medicare and Medicaid Fraud
- IRS Tax Fraud
- Defense Contractor Fraud
- Securities and Commodities Fraud
- Other Fraud Types
As the chart above shows, the majority of qui tam cases filed involve healthcare fraud; in other words, the primary focus on qui tam litigation has been Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Additionally, Department of Defense, including defense contracting fraud against the government, make up 19% of the qui tam cases filed. “Other” qui tam cases may involve financial fraud and mortgage fraud, which rose in correlation with the economic downturn starting in 2008.
The Federal Government Recovered $4.7 Billion in 2016
In the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, the federal government recovered $4.7 billion from qui tam and government-initiated suits under the False Claims Act. This is the third highest annual recovery in False Claims Act history, bringing the average to nearly $4 billion since 2009, and the total recovery during that period to $31.3 billion. Many cases, especially those involving Medicaid, also recover funds for State governments.
Importance of Government Intervention in Qui Tam Actions: 95% of Qui Tam Cases are Successful When the Government Intervenes
The government has intervened in 22% of cases brought by qui tam lawyers. From 1987 to 2010, approximately 95% of the cases in which the government intervened were settled or received a favorable judgment.
Of these successful cases, whistleblowers are compensated around 10 percent to 30 percent of the amount the government recovered. The percentage the whistleblower receives is higher if the government does not intervene; however, the overall recovery is usually higher when the government intervenes.
About Berger Montague – Qui Tam Lawyers
Berger Montague’s Whistleblowers, Qui Tam & False Claims Act Group has recovered over $3 billion for federal and state taxpayers. For over ten years, the Berger Montague Whistleblowers, Qui Tam & False Claims Act Group has helped represent many whistleblowers in actions including healthcare fraud, IRS tax fraud, securities fraud, and government contracting fraud.
Whistleblower clients represented by Berger Montague in federal and state courts have been awarded over $500 million.
Contact Us To Learn More
Do you need a Whistleblower Lawyer or want to know more information about Qui Tam Law and your rights under the False Claims Act?
There are three easy ways to contact our firm:
- Use the contact form on this page
- Email email@example.com
- Call 888-647-9292
Your information will remain confidential and we will work to protect your rights.