A whistleblower suit alleging overbilling of the National Flood Insurance Program was dismissed by a federal judge in New Orleans. Judge Peter Beer said that the allegations in the suit brought by Branch Consulting had already been cited in another suit brought by two former State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. insurance claims managers in Mississippi (the Rigsby suit). The False Claims Act prohibits a whistleblower from bringing a suit based on the facts underlying a pending qui tam action.
According to an October 17, 2007 posting at the Times Picayune website, the Rigsby suit was filed in April 2006 and the Branch suit was filed in August 2006, but people learned about the Branch suit first because it was unsealed in May and the Rigsby suit wasn’t unsealed until this summer. We had reported on that suit when it was unsealed.