Who Says Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse?

If you think that ignorance of the law is no excuse, take a look at the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion in US ex rel. Phalp v. Lincare Holdings. It leaves no doubt that in a False Claims Act case, ignorance can be a solid defense. Oxygen supply company Lincare was sued by two former salesmen for violating of the …

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Defendant Seeks Attorney Fees from Whistleblower’s Attorneys

When a qui tam case is dismissed, it’s not unusual for the defendant to seek an order requiring the whistleblower to reimburse its attorneys’ fees. What is unusual is for the defendant to seek an order requiring the whistleblower’s attorneys, rather than the whistleblower himself, to make the payment. But …

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Why the Tail Policy Didn’t Cover the Doctor’s Tail

Dr. Steven Svabek may have set a record for the number of reasons why his tail policy didn’t cover the medical malpractice claims against him. According to a memorandum decision issued last week by the Indiana Court of Appeals, on Dec. 7, 2012, Dr. Svabek purchased a tail policy from Lancet Indemnity, …

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Third Circuit’s Gift to Qui Tam Defendants

It’s so brief—just eleven words in a 23-page, single-spaced opinion---that you could easily overlook it, but the Third Circuit’s recent opinion cites the government’s nonintervention in a qui tam case as evidence supporting dismissal of the case for failure to state a claim. Since the government declines …

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CMS Gamed System to Identify Hospitals Gaming System?

You can’t make this stuff up. When CMS conducted a study to identify hospitals that game the quality data reporting system, it used an approach that made the data reporting look better than it actually was. That bottom line is indicated in the second half of the title of a May 4 study released by the Office of …

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Judge Has No Interest in DOJ’s Statement of Interest

In yet another demonstration of the benefits of lifetime tenure, a federal judge in Florida has told the Department of Justice to take a hike. It happened when the DOJ asked for permission to submit a “statement of interest” in a gigantic False Claims Act case—but only after having declining to intervene in …

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