Brous Horn Non-Confidential Whistleblower Settlements

$40.1 Million Whistleblower Settlement – 2014

$9.8 Million Whistleblower Settlement – 2007

Companies who do business with the government (or who do business with other companies who do business with the government) must abide by federal and state laws and contract terms. An insider is an employee or other person who has evidence of a violation that is not widely known to others outside of the company. An insider may “blow the whistle” by bringing a lawsuit that is filed confidentially. These cases are known as False Claims Act or “qui tam” actions.

Whistleblowers have been crucial in recovering billions of dollars of fraud for our government. Under the False Claims Act, the whistleblower is entitled to a percentage of the recovery. In addition, the whistleblower may be entitled to double the amount of his or her lost wages and other damages under the False Claims Act.

Many whistleblowing claims are brought by insiders who work in the healthcare industry. For example, a pharmaceutical company must abide by FDA regulations concerning drug approval, off-label marketing, manufacturing and clinical practices. Often times pharmaceutical sales representatives, regulatory employees and outside contractors who acquire insider information are whistleblowers in cases against pharmaceutical companies. Likewise, someone who works in a hospital, nursing home or hospice provider can be a whistleblower if they know that that their employer is billing Medicare and/or Medicaid for services not performed or not needed or if their employer is up-coding services for billing. Those with insider information can also be a whistleblower if they have evidence that a healthcare entity is paying (or has offered to pay) kickbacks to doctors or other healthcare providers in exchange for favors such as writing prescriptions or referring business.

In addition to fraud in the healthcare industry, you can be a whistleblower if you have insider information about tax fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, investment fraud, insider trading and accounting fraud.

Other whistleblowing cases may arise when an employee complains about an employer violating a law that involves public policy. For instance, if an employer is dumping waste in a way that violates EPA regulations, the employee may blow the whistle internally by complaining to the company’s Legal Department, Regulatory Department or Human Resources Department. The employee may also blow the whistle by complaining to an outside agency like the EPA, FBI or State Attorney General. If an employer retaliates against the employee for blowing the whistle, the employee may have a whistleblowing claim.

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© Brous Horn LLC 2014