False Claims Act Attorneys for Whistleblowers
Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto represents whistleblowers who file lawsuits under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act to expose fraud in government contracting and procurement
Qui tam whistleblower Dr. Aaron Westrick forced the recall of thousands of unsafe bulletproof vests sold to law enforcement and members of the U.S. military. Dr. Westrick worked as a senior manager for the largest manufacturer of bulletproof vests. As a whistleblower, he fought to protect police officers by forcing defective bulletproof vests off the market. In June 2005, the Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened in the false claims act lawsuit. Two weavers, Barrday and Hexcel, settled with the DOJ for $1 million and $15 million respectively.
In related actions, the government has collected tens of millions as a direct result of Dr. Westrick’s disclosures. Second Chance admitted liability in its bankruptcy proceeding and paid the United States millions of dollars in damages. Dr. Westrick also prevailed in a related action filed under the State of California’s False Claims Act. On March 15, 2018, the DOJ announced a settlement in which the Japanese manufacturer of Zylon, Toyobo Co., Ltd., agreed to pay the United States $66 million. The final victory, in this case, came on July 16, 2018, by a settlement with former Second Chance president and CEO Richard C. Davis, who agreed to pay the government $125,000 to settle claims related to the False Claims Act suit filed against Second Chance.
In another case, Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto represented the crucial whistleblower in one of the largest pharmaceutical case-recoveries in history, which resulted in Bristol-Meyers Squibb having to pay the U.S. government over $500 million to settle the case. The accusation against the pharmaceutical company was that it was illegally marketing drugs that increased Medicare and Medicaid costs. The allegations came from a whistleblower who was a former employee. See: Bristol-Myers Squibb to Pay More Than $515 Million to Resolve Allegations of Illegal Drug Marketing and Pricing
What is the False Claims Act?
Initially enacted by President Lincoln to curb rampant profiteering during the Civil War, the False Claims Act is the most effective whistleblower law ever passed to protect and reward whistleblowers who expose fraud in government contracting. Acting under the law’s qui tam provisions, KKC has helped its clients recover hundreds of millions of dollars that government contractors had stolen from American taxpayers.
The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow persons and entities with evidence of fraud against federal programs or contracts to sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the United States government. In qui tam actions, the government has the right to intervene and join the lawsuit. If the government declines, the private plaintiff may proceed on his or her own.
Violators of the False Claims Act are liable for three times the dollar amount of the fraud against the government, and civil penalties of $5,000 to $10,000 for each false claim. A qui tam plaintiff can receive between 15 and 30 percent of the total recovery from the defendant.
Am I eligible for a whistleblower reward under the False Claims Act?
To be eligible to recover money under the False Claims Act, you must file a qui tam lawsuit. Merely informing the government about the violation is not enough. You only receive an award if, and after, the government recovers money from the defendant as a result of your qui tam lawsuit.
If you have knowledge of False Claims and are looking for whistleblower representation contact us.
False Claims Act Resource Page that will help with key qui tam cases, statute of limitations, and False Claims Act reports from the Department of Justice.
False Claims Act Whistleblower Blog – Find the latest news and the most recent qui tam cases.
False Claims Act FAQ page – Frequently asked questions on the False Claims Act or qui tam lawsuits.