How do I find out if I qualify to be a QUI TAM plaintiff?

How do I find out if I qualify to be a QUI TAM plaintiff?

ABOUT QUI TAM ACTIONS Table of Contents

How do I find out if I qualify to be a QUI TAM plaintiff?

If you think you have uncovered information about a known fraud or violation, or you have heard about or know of a potential violation that is occurring but not necessarily one that is known to the public or the government, you should see an attorney who specializes in this type of action. They can evaluate your case confidentially and let you know if you have a case. A QUI TAM action can be brought if someone is knowingly and falsely reporting inflated figures in any way to a government agency for gain, this is a violation and should be reported. If you have questions, please e-mail Martin Levin or call Mike Papantonio 1-888-435-7001.

Why does the Government allow private citizens to bring suit on behalf of the Government?

The Legislative History of the 1986 Amendments to the federal False Claims Act shows that the sponsors were well aware that the Government has a huge interest in insuring that the enormous health care expenditures are warranted, but that the Government resources to protect that interest are limited. The Congress passing the Amendments recognized that a partnership between citizens and the Government could provide added assurances that the Government, and therefore all of the citizens of the U.S., were only paying the necessary and rightfully incurred health care costs. The Government added provisions for the QUI TAM plaintiff to get attorneys fees and triple damages for a successful prosecution as an incentive for citizens to get involved .

Who would represent me in a QUI TAM action and how could I afford it?

Attorneys who specialize in this area are familiar with the problems facing potential QUI TAM plaintiffs and the difficulty of access to courts for them. Many attorneys work on what is called a contingent fee basis, where they agree that their fees will be paid as a percentage of any recovery made, rather than requiring a large retainer up front. Congress also took the problem of access of courts for the ordinary citizen under advisement in drafting the 1986 Amendments to the federal False Claims Act and made a provision for recovery of attorneys fees for the successful plaintiff. Most contingency contracts provide that no fee will be assessed if the plaintiff does not recover. The QUI TAM plaintiff seeking an attorney should feel free to ask the attorney about their experience in this and other related types of cases and should only retain an attorney in whom the plaintiff feels confident.

What if I don''t have any first hand knowledge of a violation?

If the violation is not publicly known, it is enough that the plaintiff have knowledge "second-hand" or from hearsay alone. Congress recognized that, where large amounts of money are involved, the likelihood of a large scale cover-up by violators may make it near impossible to obtain any first hand knowledge or evidence of the violation. If the violation has been made public, however, the citizen must possess some first-hand knowledge or information in order to bring an action.

When would a court find that a violation has occurred?

The federal False Claims Act provides not only for the deliberate or intentional fraud to be prosecuted, but also where the fraud or misrepresentations are "in reckless disregard of" or with "deliberate indifference to" the veracity of the information with which they report the information to the government. The violator can be the person reporting false figures to the government, and/or the person or persons who provide false information which gets reported.

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