The Law Firm of Piacentile, Stefanowski & Malherbe LLP

What If I Lose My Whistleblower Lawsuit or the Government Chooses Not to Intervene?

Whistleblower lawsuits are difficult to win. Losing a whistleblower lawsuit is not the end of the world. In fact, most whistleblower lawsuits do not result in the government intervening. Out of all False Claims Act cases, only about 20% are intervened by the government. If your lawsuit is not intervened in by the government, it is likely that the case will be dismissed. Many people also lose their lawsuits in general. So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation? Here are a few tips!

First, don't despair. Losing a lawsuit or a lawsuit failing to get off the ground is not the end of the world. It is simply the nature of most whistleblower action that, even if the underlying allegations have merit, the action leads to nothing, or to a lose, or to no recovery of a reward from the government.

Second, take some time to learn from your experience. What went wrong? What could you have done differently? Use this knowledge to improve your chances of success in future endeavors. it could be that another whistleblower came forward with the same information first, or that the information did not pertain to an actionable fraud, or for political or economic reasons, the government simply was not interested in acting on that particular fraud.

If the government decides not to intervene in your case, you may still choose to proceed with the lawsuit on your own. However, many people choose not to do this because it can be very costly and time-consuming.

Third, try to move on. It can be difficult to put a legal setback behind you, but it is important to focus on the future and not dwell on the past. Let go of your anger and frustration, and focus on what you can do now to achieve your goals. It's important to remember that most False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuits are not intervened in by the government. In fact, only about 20% of False Claims Act cases are intervened in by the government. For other programs, like the IRS Whistleblower Program, because the IRS is understaffed and underfunded, there is a backlog of over 20,000 whistleblower cases and the average processing time for a claim is nearly a decade. Fortunately, the SEC and CFTC act much more quickly on the tips they receive through their respective whistleblower programs.

Remember that even if you don't win your case, you may have helped to expose fraud and wrongdoing. In some cases, simply bringing a lawsuit can be enough to stop the illegal activity.

Losing a whistleblower lawsuit does not mean that you have to give up on your quest for justice. Injustices are everywhere. Fraud committed against the government happens many times an hour of each day. There will always be opportunities for you to find out about some act of wrongdoing that you and no one else save for wrongdoers, knows about.