The federal False Claims Act was enacted during the Civil War era to reduce fraud and abuse in federal government benefit programs. Read Qui Tam Whistleblower Lawsuits, Part 1. Today the amount of abuse in federal benefits programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, continues to grow. When brave citizens choose to stand up to the injustice of fraud and abuse, they often file a Qui tam or whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act.
In order to encourage individuals to report private fraud and abuse of government benefit programs, the False Claims Act includes special protection for individuals under its whistleblower or Qui tam provisions. These special provisions include:
- The right of Qui tam plaintiffs to bring a separate action if they experience retaliation after coming forward to expose the fraudulent behavior of others. This protection can be especially important for employees who courageously expose their employer’s fraudulent behavior.
- Monetary rewards. In addition to protection from retaliation, plaintiffs filing a False Claims Act lawsuit may also receive monetary rewards for assisting the government in retrieving stolen government funds (between 15-30% of the funds recovered by the government). Courts have granted over $4 billion in monetary awards to whistleblowers that have exposed fraud against the government.
- Costs and fees. Plaintiffs may recover reasonable attorney fees and costs.
- The ability to continue to participate in a Qui tam lawsuit even if the government decides to join in the False Claims Act action. Eighty percent of False Claims Act suits are filed by individuals under the Qui tam provisions. The government has the right to join in these actions, but under the Qui tam provisions, individuals filing under the whistleblower protections may remain as a party in the litigation.
In the final part of our series on Qui tam whistleblower claims, we will discuss the types of fraud covered by the federal False Claims Act.
The Qui tam Attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates in Philadelphia Assist Individuals Filing Claims Under the False Claims Act
Individuals filing Qui tam actions under the False Claims Act should seek the assistance of an experienced employment law attorney. The dedicated Pennsylvania and New Jersey whistleblower attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates handle all types of Qui tam actions under the False Claims Act. Serving clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, our offices are located conveniently in Center City, Philadelphia. To discuss your potential Qui tam whistleblower lawsuit, or any other employment law matter, call the law offices of Sidney L. Gold & Associates today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online.