As explained in our prior posts, statutory penalties under the False Claims Act can reach extraordinary levels. Generally, however, they will not violate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. However, in order to avoid raising concerns about the Eighth Amendment, Relators (aka "Qui Tam Plaintiffs") may elect to seek an amount below the minimum statutory penalty. This type of volunatery reduction is referred to in legal terms as a "remittitur." As explained by the Fourth Circuit, relators are free to eschew the bounds of the FCA’s statutory ...Read More ›
Several circuits have addressed the issue of whether statutory penalties under the False Claims Act implicate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. Those courts have held that FCA statutory penalties can potentially violate the Excessive Fines Clause, but have uniformly upheld such awards, even when dramatically in excess of the single damages award.
Most recently, in December 2021, the Eleventh Circuit upheld a healthcare fraud judgment under the FCA of $1.179 million, stemming from only $755.54 in single damages, on 214 false claims submitted ...Read More ›
In addition to treble damages, the federal False Claims Act requires defendants to pay a statutory penalty for every false claim they submit. Statutory penalties under the False Claims Act are mandatory, even for claims that are not paid, or where there is otherwise no damage to the government. See U.S. ex rel. Grubbs v. Kanneganti, 565 F.3d 180, 189 (5th Cir. 2009) (“Put plainly, the statute is remedial and exposes even unsuccessful false claims to liability. A person that presented fraudulent claims that were never paid remains liable for the Act’s civil penalty.”); United ...Read More ›
What Is Commercial Litigation?
Commercial litigation is a type of legal dispute pertaining to businesses. Lawsuits may be brought by individuals or entities feeling they have incurred monetary damages due to a range of matters, including disputes about contracts, insurance, land, real estate, leases, debts, etc. Alternatives are available to avoid litigation.
These are often referred to as alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The most common ADR is arbitration, where a neutral party hears both sides and makes a decision, which may or may not be binding. Mediation is another ...Read More ›
Usually for executives or managers, and unlike an at-will employment arrangement, most employers offer an initial employment severance agreement defining the terms for leaving a company after termination. While most companies offer severance, they are not required to do so; state laws vary, and it is not required under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Executives generally have negotiation leverage because of their financial and personal contributions made over the employment period. There also will often be bargaining room because employers want to maintain a positive ...Read More ›