Are you aware of a person or company trying to defraud the state or federal government? Are you afraid of the consequences if you “blow the whistle”? If so, you should talk to experienced whistleblower attorneys before taking action.
WHY HIRE PREMIER LITIGATORS
Cantrell, Astbury, Kranz, P.A., known as Premier Litigators, litigates significant whistleblowers cases on behalf of whistleblowers. Whistleblower law is a complicated area of law that takes years to master. To achieve the best possible outcome in your case, you need a firm with the skill and experience to deliver the best possible results. That firm is Premier Litigators.
WHAT WE HANDLE
The whistleblower attorneys at Premier Litigators handle whistleblower cases under state and federal law.
The best-known federal whistleblower statute is the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act is sometimes called the “Lincoln Law” because it was passed in 1863 in response to defense contractor fraud during the Civil War. The False Claims Act allows private citizens to file a lawsuit—called a qui tam suit—on behalf of the Department of Justice (DOJ) against any person or company that defrauds the US government.
Premier Litigators also handles cases brought under state statutes, including:
- Florida’s Whistleblower Act
- Michigan’s Whistleblowers’ Protection Act
- California’s Whistleblower Protection Act
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, if there is a successful recovery. A citizen who brings the qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the DOJ is called a “relator.” A relator who successfully brings a qui tam lawsuit receives a portion of the government’s recovery or a reward, usually between 15% and 30% of the recovery. The remaining money goes to the US government.
In 2021, whistleblowers filed nearly 600 qui tam lawsuits and reported settlements and judgments exceeding $1.6 billion. The vast majority of these lawsuits related to the health care industry, specifically Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, Veterans, or FEHBP fraud. Health care fraud is usually associated with “fraud, waste, and abuse” related to the following: (1) CARES Act grants and contracts, (2) Medicare Part C, (3) opioids, (4) Stark and Anti-kick-back laws, (5) drug pricing, (6) medical devices, and (7) fraudulent billing, including overbilling, upcoding, unbundling, and excessive billing.
No, at least not for the first 60 days after you file the lawsuit. Initially, a qui tam lawsuit is filed “under seal,” meaning only the government is informed about the case, not the person or company you are accusing of fraud. This gives the DOJ 60 days—which may be extended by a Court for “good cause”—to investigate the whistleblower’s allegations. After the investigation, the DOJ decides whether it will intervene in the lawsuit, meaning DOJ attorneys helps to litigate the claims.
Generally, yes. If the DOJ intervenes, they bring the resources and stature of the US government to bear on your case. If the DOJ intervenes, the relator will still receive 15% to 25% of the recovery. DOJ intervention is a very positive development. If the DOJ declines to intervene, the relator can still bring the lawsuit, but they will not have the DOJ’s assistance. However, if the relator wins the case without the DOJ’s assistance, they may recover up to 30% of the ultimate recovery.
While the statute of limitations is six years in cases where the DOJ intervenes and ten years in cases where the DOJ does not intervene, the False Claims Act has a “first to file” rule. This “first to file” rule means only the first whistleblower or “relator” to file a lawsuit is entitled to a 15% to 30% share of the recovery in the case. This means there is sometimes a race to the courthouse to file a qui tam lawsuit before anyone else. In short, if you want a portion of the recovery, you must act fast.