Filing a Qui Tam Lawsuit – How Does a Qui Tam Lawsuit Get Started?
In qui tam lawsuits filed under the False Claims Act, relators bring a lawsuit on the behalf of the government when they accuse their employer or another entity of fraud against the United States. At present, the relator stands to collect 15 to 30 percent of all settlement or judgment monies collected, including civil penalties and up to three times the amount of the fraud. (Companies or individuals who defraud the government are subject to more damages and penalties than are available in normal lawsuits.) This large collection percentage was designed as an incentive to would-be whistleblowers. It encourages whistleblowers to come forward and expose fraud, using private instead of public resources. Though the federal government can take on the case, some qui tam cases go on without federal support.
Qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act are frequently filed in Medicare fraud cases, but can also be filed in instances of government contractor fraud or any situation in which an individual is aware of fraudulent activities that harm the U.S. government. The qui tam proceedings are sealed when filed, which means that the utmost confidentiality is exercised; they are not litigated in the same way as the usual civil lawsuit. They usually require lengthy investigations at the outset, and complex legal strategy decisions, particularly where the fraud may involve criminal charges.
Contact Us to Learn More About Filing a Qui Tam Lawsuit
If you are aware of fraudulent activities that impact the U.S. government and wish to “blow the whistle,” don’t do so alone. With significant experience and strong track record in qui tam litigation, we are committed to handling each qui tam case with expertise and sound strategy. Please call us today at (206) 324-8969 for a free phone screening of your case.