A qui tam lawsuit allows individuals to sue on behalf of the United States to recover money that was fraudulently obtained by a person or corporation. Under the federal False Claims Act, liability is put on the people and companies who defraud the government. Individuals who file qui tam complaints are referred to as “whistleblowers.”
Qui tam lawsuits are filed “under seal,” which means they are kept confidential so only the government is aware of the claim. The person or entity being accused of fraud is not alerted to the case without the court’s permission. Qui tam lawsuits are only made public after the government has time to investigate the allegations and determine whether it will join the whistleblower’s case.
The False Claims Act requires that a whistleblower use an attorney to file a qui tam lawsuit. An experienced employment lawyer will put together a complaint that describes the violations reported by the whistleblower and how they break the law.
Common reasons for filing qui tam complaints include:
- Overcharging the federal government.
- Fulfilling contracts with non-conforming, defective, or lesser goods or services.
- Submitting fraudulent or false applications for federal loans or grants.
- Lying to obtain a federal contract.
- Seeking a federal contract via fraud.
Those who have evidence of fraud related to federal contracts may be able to file a qui tam complaint. A complaint cannot be filed when the federal government or another party already has filed a lawsuit for False Claim Act violations based on the same evidence.
When whistleblowers file federal lawsuits against their employers, some retaliate by firing, demoting, or harassing them. The False Claims Act provides legal protections for whistleblowers who experience retaliation from employers. The Act allows whistleblowers to be reinstated in their job and compensated for lost wages. Whistleblowers can also collect attorney fees, litigation costs, and other damages.
New Jersey law also protects whistleblowers against retaliation. New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) allows whistleblowers to sue their employers if they face retaliation. Under CEPA, whistleblowers can be reinstated in their job and collect lost wages. They can also collect damages for emotional distress.
Common Types of Qui Tam Cases
Fraud and misconduct can give rise to a number of kinds of qui tam cases involving:
- U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Anti-kickback violations
- Health care fraud
- Medicaid and Medicare fraud
- Pharmaceutical fraud
- Fraud in government programs
- Government contract fraud
- Financial and investment fraud
- Tax fraud
- Pain management clinic misconduct
How Can a Lawyer Help With a Qui Tam Case?
The success of a qui tam case is largely dependent of the skills of the employment lawyer retained to handle all the details. The False Claims Act has unique procedures and rules that must be followed with the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney. An experienced employment lawyer will have a comprehensive understanding of the law as it pertains to qui tam cases and know how to protect your rights.
South Jersey Employment Lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Can Help You With Your Qui Tam Lawsuit
You can get help with your qui tam claim from an experienced South Jersey employment lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. Call us at 856-235-7075 or contact us online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.