The Law Firm of Piacentile, Stefanowski & Malherbe LLP

SCOTUS to Decide whether the Government can Dismiss a Qui Tam Relator’s Suit after Initially Declining to Intervene

Under the federal False Claims Act, whistleblowers can initiate actions on behalf of the government to recover monies that have been paid fraudulently. Although whistleblowers can initiate these actions, the federal government then takes the reins and carries out an investigation to see if it will be interested in the matter. After investigating, the federal government decides if it wants to intervene in the action, going forward to either settle or litigate the case. Alternatively, the government can determine that it will not proceed with the action, allowing the whistleblower via legal representation to take the case going forward.

In cases where the government does intervene, it is a settled point of law that the government can move to have a case dismissed. In cases where the government does not intervene, it is not a settled matter if the government can later intervene with the sole purpose of having the case dismissed.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in a case titled U.S. ex rel. Polansky v. Executive Health Resources, Inc. The U.S Supreme Court will have the opportunity of deciding if once the federal government decides to not intervene in a whistleblower case, if it can later intervene with the sole purpose of having the case dismissed. The outcome of this case is highly anticipated, given the consequences it will have for whistleblower cases in the future.

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