Washington, D.C. June 22, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority in a pending False Claims Act case, U.S. ex rel. Westrick v. Second Chance Body Armor, et al., No. 04-0280 (D.D.C.), setting forth the DOJ’s official position on the impact of the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision announced last week in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 579 U.S. ___, slip op. No. 15-7 (June 16, 2016). In its filing today, the DOJ argues that the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Escobar discussion that a contractor’s “misleading half-truths” to the government “unequivocally supports the United States’ argument” in the Westrick case that Toyobo Co. Lt. and Toyobo America, Inc. (collectively Toyobo) “had a legal duty to disclose” its knowledge that the degradation of Zylon bullet-proof vests that it sold to the government “contradicted Toyobo’s misrepresentations about the superiority” of those vests. Continue Reading Justice Department’s First Public Statement on Supreme Court’s Unanimous Escobar Decision Slams Toyobo’s “Half-Truths” in Pending False Claims Act Whistleblower Suit
The Whistleblower Protection Blog’s most popular posts of 2016 covered a wide range of topics including Supreme Court case coverage, the National Whistleblower Center’s new program for wildlife whistleblowers, and crucial agency-related and legislative victories that improved whistleblower rights.
December 15, 2016. On Wednesday, December 14th, The U.S. Justice Department announced that it recovered over $4.7 billion from False Claims Act (FCA) cases in 2016. Of those recoveries, $2.9 billion were recovered through cases initiated by whistleblowers. The Justice Department paid more than $519 million in whistleblower awards over the course of the year. This represents the continuation of a long trend of successful cooperation between whistleblowers and the Justice Department, and demonstrates the enormous success an effective whistleblower program can generate.
Today, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) released its End-of-Year Report, filled with whistleblower successes from 2016. In the past year, the NWC continued its mission to strengthen whistleblower protections and incentives, defend whistleblowers’ rights, and educate people at home and abroad about the power of whistleblowers in combatting fraud and corruption.
The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) filed several amici curiae (friend of the court) briefs this year to support whistleblowers and advocate for their protection. In particular, NWC briefs have addressed compelling legal issues including preventing attempts to weaken the False Claims Act (FCA) before the United States Supreme Court, and supporting whistleblower rights for veterans before the Federal Circuit Court.
The NWC wrote amici briefs in two major False Claims Act cases in 2016: Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, and State Farm Fire and Casualty Company v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby. In Escobar, amici asserted that the FCA holds contractors liable not only when they defraud the government and taxpayers by violating express terms of their contract, but also when they violate implied certifications as well. In Rigsby, amici argued that the FCA’s seal provision was designed for the exclusive benefit of the Government, and mandatory dismissal for seal violations would undermine the FCA and hurt taxpayers—the intended beneficiaries of the False Claims Act.
Supreme Court Unanimously Supports Whistleblower under False Claims Act
Washington, D.C. June 16, 2016. In a unanimous ruling issued today, the United States Supreme Court upheld a whistleblower’s claim in Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar. The Court, in an opinion by Justice Thomas, affirmed the “implied certification theory” of liability under the False Claims Act (FCA). This theory permits contractors to be liable for fraud when they fail to disclose material non-compliance with regulatory requirements. Continue Reading Big Win for Whistleblowers at Supreme Court
Ruling in Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar will have major impact in government contract fraud cases.
Washington, D.C. April 19, 2016. The U.S. Supreme Court heard Oral Argument today in a landmark whistleblower case, Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, arising under the False Claims Act. The Escobar case will determine how specific government contracts must be to hold fraudsters accountable.
The National Whistleblower Center recently filed an Amicus (friend of the court) brief in the case Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar. The legal issue behind the case concerns the False Claims Act, America’s premier whistleblower law and its best defense against government contracting fraud. The question at hand asks whether a contractor can only be held liable for defrauding the government and the taxpayers if they violate the express terms of their contract, or if reasonable interpretations of the requirements can serve as the basis for enforcing against fraud as well. Continue Reading National Whistleblower Center presents original documents showing the intent of the False Claims Act