In addition to the federal statute, more than half of all states have enacted state FCAs (and some local governments, such as the city of New York, also have false claims laws).
Whether at the federal, state or local level, FCA litigation is unique because private citizen “whistle-blowers”—who are often an employee or former employee of the target company—can initiate claims on behalf of the government. They do so in exchange for the potential of a reward set as a percentage of the government’s recovery. And the amounts recovered can be extraordinarily large. In recent years, the federal government alone has recovered billions of dollars per year in FCA judgments and settlements. With such significant potential exposure, and with courts permitting increasingly novel application of these laws, experienced counsel is a must.
Our FCA-focused team of more than 15 attorneys not only represents a diverse slate of clients in these state and federal civil lawsuits, but also in accompanying congressional and Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigations, criminal investigations and prosecutions, and regulatory agency enforcement proceedings. We work in partnership with our clients to achieve their ultimate goal at a reasonable cost, deploying our team to defend, litigate, try and settle federal and state FCA claims. We have experience with defending clients in the full range of industries that have been the focus of FCA claims: health care, pharmaceuticals, communications (including the federal Universal Service programs), defense, manufacturing, financial services and technology.
Some of our recent successes include the resolution of a state investigation related to price reporting for drugs supplied to beneficiaries of the Medicaid program, the favorable settlement of a three-year litigation concerning a contract to develop software for a California county, and dismissal—later affirmed by the Second Circuit—of a whistle-blower suit alleging fraudulent representations in connection with equipment supplied to the Defense Department.
Our experience in conducting discovery in federal and state FCA cases includes:
- Conducting depositions of hundreds of state and federal government officials, including high-level officials from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services
- Conducting extensive internal investigations and pre-intervention discovery
- Litigating privilege assertions, such as the deliberative process privilege, often used by the government to block discovery in FCA cases
- Analyzing extensive government claims data, company sales transaction data and market share data
- Negotiating confidentiality agreements with government agencies, relators and class action plaintiffs to protect clients’ sensitive business information
- Negotiating with government agencies in producing electronic data and documents