Relators Can Seek Reduced Statutory Penalties Under the False Claims Act

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 ...

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The Constitutionality of Statutory Penalties Under the False Claims Act

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 ...

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Statutory Penalties Under the False Claims Act

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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A Personal Injury Lawsuit Can Help You Get Back on Your Feet

When you (or a family member) are harmed via an accident or injury, and someone else might be legally responsible, personal injury law lets you seek justice and get compensation. Although varied situations can raise a valid personal injury claim, suffering an injury doesn't automatically result in legal liability. 

There are two likely outcomes of a dispute: formal lawsuit–where a private individual (the "plaintiff") files a civil complaint against another person, business, or government agency (the "defendant"); ...

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Prescription drugs are often beneficial--treating maladies from minor to life-threatening. Sadly--often driven by money as the bottom line--pharmaceutical companies sometimes engage in fraud, thereby risking public health and costing consumers and the government billions of dollars. Bad actions abound: some companies promote products untested in clinical trials or for uses beyond the scope of governmental approval; some encourage prescriptions at higher doses than recommended; and some push medicines that are just plain dangerous. In a great many cases, manufacturers ...

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As a society, we are not the best at appreciating our elders. At minimum, we should care for our seniors to prevent them from being abused and/or victimized. To do so, we need to know what constitutes elder abuse, what to do about it, and, if/when warranted, when to bring in professionals. You should seek out an elder abuse attorney if you suspect that an older person is being abused or if you yourself are being victimized.

Here are the six most common types of elder abuse:

  • Physical
    • Assaults such as hitting or shoving; 
    • Inappropriate/unwarranted use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.
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    Taxpayer money is everywhere. And where there is money, there are people willing to cheat to get more than their fair share. Fortunately, there are also upstanding humans interested in calling out wrongdoers gaming the system and stealing tax dollars. Also fortunately, we have whistleblower rewards!

    The primary law used to assist those blowing the whistle on bad behavior is the federal False Claims Act. The SEC also has a whistleblower program that has grown significantly over the past decade. The last year has brought a record number of whistleblower claims under the FCA and SEC ...

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    Despite courthouse doors closing throughout California starting in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and making in-person jury trials nearly impossible, tens of thousands of Plaintiffs have made monumental progress in their individual cases against Southern California Gas Company – the largest distributor of natural gas in the United States – related to the largest uncontrolled release of natural gas in U.S. history. 

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