Whistleblowing is any time someone reports a violation of a law, whether that be through a legal complaint or other avenues.
The term generally refers to when someone exposes illegal or unethical behavior within a company. A well known American whistleblower is Edward Snowden, a former CIA and NSA employee who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA). There are countless other whistleblowers who bring claims against employers and other companies on a large or small scale.
Typically, whistleblowing refers to filing a claim under the federal False Claims Act. Although this is the most common meaning, this is not the only meaning of the word.
What is the False Claims Act?
. These laws are named for the Latin phrase “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur” which translates to “he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself.” Qui tam laws allow consumers to file lawsuits against businesses, entities, or people who commit unlawful behaviors.
Under the False Claims Act, private citizens (known under the law as relators) can file lawsuits against companies who have defrauded government programs.
The False Claims Act was enacted during the Civil War in 1863 due to concerns that Union Army suppliers were defrauding the government. The law makes it illegal for any company to submit a false claim with a government program. This includes defense contracts, health programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, etc.), and more.
If relators have been witness to fraudulent behavior, they may be eligible to file a False Claims Act lawsuit. Relators can be any person who has witnessed fraudulent claims, including employees.
It is important to note that the government does not always become involved in False Claims Act lawsuits. The government may choose to intervene, but it can also decline – meaning that relators are left on their own to litigate the claims.
Although whistleblowing can seem like a thankless, daunting task, relators are protected from retaliation under the False Claims Act and are also able to recover compensation if the federal government intervenes and reaches a settlement.
Relators are usually entitled to between 15 and 25 percent of the amount the government recovers. If the government doesn’t intervene but the relator still reaches a settlement, they are entitled to 25 to 30 percent of any recovery.
Recently, a former salesperson for Biogen was awarded nearly $6 million after her False Claims Act lawsuit reached a successful resolution. The whistleblower claimed that the company violated medical sales laws by selling Zinbryta, a multiple sclerosis medication, for off-label purposes which were not FDA approved. She also claimed to be a victim of sexual discrimination after reporting a coworker for the alleged off label marketing.
If you have witnessed a company submitting false claims to a government, you may be able to serve as a relator in a False Claims Act lawsuit. An experienced lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible to recover compensation.
In general, whistleblower and qui tam lawsuits are filed individually by each plaintiff and are not class actions. Whistleblowers can only join this investigation if they are reporting fraud against the government, meaning that the government must be the victim, and that the alleged fraud should be a substantial loss of money.
Do YOU have a legal claim? Fill out the form on this page now for a free, immediate, and confidential case evaluation. The attorneys who work with Top Class Actions will contact you if you qualify to let you know if an individual qui tam lawsuit or whistleblower class action lawsuit is best for you. Hurry — statutes of limitations may apply.
This article is not legal advice. It is presented
for informational purposes only.
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If you believe that you have witnessed fraud committed against the government, you may have a legal claim. Whistleblowers can only join this investigation if they are reporting fraud against the government, meaning that the government must be the victim, and that the alleged fraud should be a substantial loss of money.
See if you qualify to pursue compensation and join a whistleblower lawsuit investigation by submitting your information for a free case evaluation.
An attorney will contact you if you qualify to discuss the details of your potential case.
PLEASE NOTE: If you want to participate in this investigation, it is imperative that you reply to the law firm if they call or email you. Failing to do so may result in you not getting signed up as a client or getting you dropped as a client.