In the second of a two-part series, Phillips & Cohen partner Peter Chatfield tells Health System Specialist about the risks and challenges whistleblowers face when making the difficult decision to report fraud in the healthcare industry. The series discusses the motivations and experiences of the whistleblowers represented by Chatfield.
“They will likely be retaliated against (by the defendant) even though that’s against the law,” says Peter Chatfield, a partner with the Phillips Cohen law firm in Washington, D.C. and the attorney for Baker, Pryor, Payne and Church. “The defense lawyers will say ‘go ahead and fire them.’ They may have to pay damages, but to them it’s better off not having them around.”
“Moreover, such litigation takes years to resolve, and it is entirely unpredictable as to how it will end, according to Chatfield. It is also often under seal [so whistleblowers cannot let anyone know about it] for years as well, prompting the plaintiffs — known as relators — to be quiet about it until the seal is lifted.”