Whistleblowers in False Claims Act cases may no longer be able to “forum shop” depending on whether the nation’s highest court agrees to standardizing lawsuit timelines.
The U.S. Supreme Court could determine whether FCA informants should be allowed to take advantage of a three-year filing period when the government does not intervene.
The court dispute in Cochise Consultancy v. United States ex rel. Hunt stems from a accusations in an Iraq contract fraud case. But the implications could hit healthcare providers.
Currently a plaintiff can file a False Claims Act compliant within six years of when a violation occurred, or three years after the date when facts material to alleged fraud are known or should have been known by government officials. But there’s been inconsistent application of the statute of limitations among courts, attorneys told Bloomberg.
That’s led to plaintiffs “forum-shopping” and unfairly subjecting “defendants to different timeliness rules, depending on where they are sued,” attorneys said.
Depending on how the Supreme Court lands in the case, it could potentially establish nationwide uniformity on false claims timeliness.