Life of a Qui Tam Lawsuit
When it comes to filing a qui tam lawsuit, timing is first and foremost. The Federal False Claims Act is a “first-to-file” law which means that the lawsuit can be dismissed if the relator (the whistleblower who brings the lawsuit) is not the first to make the allegations. Unlike most qui tam lawsuits, a False Claims Act complaint is served on the government and filed under seal, and not initially served on the Defendant. The reason that the case is filed under seal is to give the government the opportunity to investigate. The FCA provides for an initial 60-day sealing period, but the government usually requests an extension of the seal. Once the government’s investigation is complete, it decides whether to intervene and litigate the qui tam case or decline to intervene. If the government declines to intervene, the relator may still pursue the whistleblower qui tam case on behalf of the government.
Why Do You Want the Government to Intervene on a Qui Tam Case?
Due to the government’s extensive resources, there is a significantly greater chance of success when the government intervenes. If successful, whistleblowers typically receive between 15% and 30% of the total recovery. This amount varies depending on whether the government intervenes. Although the reward percentage is lower when the government intervenes, the total recovery is usually greater than what would be obtained without government intervention.
Contact Us to Learn More
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. The attorneys of Berger Montague 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, call us at 1-800-424-6690.