The First Circuit has added its say on the meaning of the False Claims Act’s “first to file” rule (31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(5)) by holding that a first-filed complaint will preclude a later-filed suit, even when the first complaint is found insufficient under Rule 9(b) particularity requirements. See United States ex rel. Heineman-Guta v. Guidant Corp., 2013 WL 2364172 (1st Cir. May 31, 2013). There is already a circuit split on this issue between the Sixth Circuit and the D.C. Circuit, and the First Circuit’s recent decision further deepens this split. Time will tell if the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately weigh in on the issue.
Continue Reading An FCA Kerfuffle: First Circuit Reaffirms the Intent of the “First to File” Rule and Deepens Circuit Split

By Jonathan S. Aronie and Christopher M. Loveland

Search for the phrase False Claims Act on the Internet, and you will be hit with a barrage of websites telling you how easy it is to bring a fraud case against a Government contractor. Sadly, these websites are right. The bar to bringing FCA claims has been lowered to such an extent over the past 5-10 years that the Act practically invites frivolous lawsuits. Thus, it is with great pleasure that we report that at least one court – the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts – has taken a step toward restoring at least some common sense to application of the statute.
 


Continue Reading Finally, A Ruling That Applies Some Common Sense To The False Claims Act