False Claims Act (FCA)

The False Claims Act (FCA) penalizes those who knowingly submit false claims seeking government funds or to avoid paying government debts. Although well intentioned, the law has transformed into a profitable enterprise for plaintiffs’ lawyers and their clients, while hurting American businesses. Total monetary damages under the False Claims Act have risen from $272 million in 1992 to over $2.8 billion in FY 2018. Read More...

The law allows the government to pursue any government contractor suspected of making “false claims” about their goods or services to the government. The law also allows third-party whistleblowers (called qui tam relators) to sue in the name of the government and to keep a large part of any recovery. The statute also allows for treble damages (damages three times the amount of the alleged fraud) as well as significant penalties. Recently the DOJ moved to dismiss some qui tam FCA cases, signifying a positive change in an attempt to address substantial abuse regarding FCA cases. The DOJ has also made several important and helpful policy changes that provide credit to companies that have appropriate compliance programs, self-report FCA violations, assist the investigation and remediate any harm done to the government.

While the need for an anti-fraud statute is clear, plaintiffs’ lawyers have benefited enormously from these FCA lawsuits. Broad language and over-enforcement practices have stimulated significant abuse, turning, in some cases, what should be simple disagreements and paperwork errors into claims for fraud. The U.S. Chamber Institute of Legal Reform (ILR) actively works to promote reforms that will restore fairness and transparency.

01/01/2019

Suggested Resources

Research
  • ILR Briefly COVID-19 Series: Federal Liability Problems and Solutions

    ILR Briefly COVID-19 Series: Federal Liability Problems and Solutions

    May 07, 2020

    As the public health and economic consequences of COVID-19 continue to mount, plaintiffs' lawyers are looking for ways to expand upon their legal theories and bring opportunistic litigation. This edition of ILR Briefly explores four projected hot spots of COVID-19 litigation: exposure liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and securities litigation. The paper goes on to recommend targeted federal legislative and administrative solutions to combat abusive lawsuits in these areas and protect the economic recovery. Read More

  • ILR Briefly COVID-19 Series: Liability Overview

    ILR Briefly COVID-19 Series: Liability Overview

    April 23, 2020

    As Americans and businesses of all sizes are working together to get through the COVID-19 health crisis, plaintiffs' lawyers have already begun filing COVID-19-related lawsuits. Limiting litigation abuse is essential to making available the tools and resources needed to combat the virus, and ultimately to spurring economic recovery once the immediate health crisis has been resolved. This edition of ILR Briefly explores the current and anticipated types of litigation coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

All Results for False Claims Act (FCA)

  1. Legal Reformers Must Act to Heal the Lawsuit System

    October 23, 2013 | News and Blog

    By being proactive and persistent, we can achieve a healthy lawsuit system.... Read More

  2. The Great Myths of State False Claims Acts: Alternatives to State Qui Tam Statutes

    October 23, 2013 | Research

    Authored by Jonathan Diesenhaus of Hogan Lovells, this paper addresses the unexpected effects and complications from state laws that attempt to mirror the federal False Claims Act.... Read More

  3. Fixing the False Claims Act: The Case for Compliance-Focused Reforms

    October 23, 2013 | Research

    Authored by Peter Hutt of Akin Gump and David Ogden of Wilmer Hale, this paper proposes a number of reforms to the False Claims Act.... Read More

  4. The New Lawsuit Ecosystem: Trends, Targets and Players

    October 23, 2013 | Research

    Authored by a distinguished group of practitioners, this report examines the developing lawsuit "ecosystem" and areas of litigation of most concern to the business community.... Read More

  5. Preventing Government Overpayments to Qui Tam Plaintiffs: Proposed Amendments to the False Claims Act

    October 26, 2011 | Research

    This paper examines the structure of the FCA's whistleblower provisions and available information on whistleblower motivation and concludes that the statute's existing structure systematically overpays Relators and their counsel. This paper identifies several simple legislative amendments that would address these systematic flaws and ensure that the government is getting its money's worth when it pays Relators under the FCA.... Read More

  6. State Farm Urges SCOTUS to Dismiss Claim by ‘Whistleblower’ Who Leaked Suit to Media

    February 16, 2011 | News and Blog

    An attorney for State Farm urged the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday to "dismiss lawsuits by whistleblowers who violate a nondisclosure requirement in the federal law that targets fraud against the government," reports The National Law Journal's Marcia Coyle.... Read More

  7. In the News Today - November 2, 2016

    February 16, 2011 | News and Blog

    What do you get when you mix two of the most pro-litigation tools in America today? ... Read More

  8. In the News Today - November 2, 2016

    February 16, 2011 | News and Blog

    What do you get when you mix two of the most pro-litigation tools in America today?... Read More

  9. In the News Today - November 2, 2016

    February 16, 2011 | News and Blog

    What do you get when you mix two of the most pro-litigation tools in America today?... Read More