Lebau & Neuworth attorneys have represented whistleblowers who work for government contractors, hospitals, healthcare companies and non-profits and were terminated from their jobs for objecting to and/or complaining about their employers’ unlawful conduct. In 2018, we represented whistleblowers who obtained more than $13 million from a for-profit college for defrauding the government by changing students’ test scores and enrolling students with invalid high school ‘diplomas’ ordered online.
A powerful tool to assist our clients is the federal False Claims Act.
In 1986, Congress strengthened the Act by increasing incentives for whistleblowers to file lawsuits alleging false claims on behalf of the government. These whistleblower, or qui tam, actions comprise a significant percentage of the False Claims Act cases that are filed. If the government prevails in a qui tam action, the whistleblower, also known as the relator, typically receives a portion of the recovery ranging between 15% and 30%. Whistleblowers filed 598 qui tam suits in fiscal year 2021, and this past year the department reported settlements and judgments exceeding $1.6 billion in these and earlier-filed suits.
The Justice Department obtained more than $5.6 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021 – the second-largest annual total in False Claims Act history and the largest since 2014. Settlement and judgments since 1986, when Congress substantially strengthened the civil False Claims Act, now total more than $70 billion.
Of the more than $5.6 billion in settlements and judgments reported by the Department of Justice this past fiscal year, over $5 billion relates to matters that involved the healthcare industry, including drug and medical-device manufacturers, managed-care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories and physicians. The amounts included in the $5 billion reflect recoveries arising from only federal losses, and, in many of these cases, the department was instrumental in recovering additional amounts for state Medicaid programs.
If you or someone know needs whistleblower protection, please do not hesitate to call Lebau & Neuworth at 1.888.456.2529 or email us at lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.