Washington, DC — December 6, 2022 – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear United States ex rel. Polansky v. Executive Health Resources, Inc., a case with the potential to significantly impact whistleblower “qui tam” cases under the False Claims Act. The court will decide whether the government may dismiss a case after the case has been litigated by a whistleblower without government intervention and what standard should be applied to support the government’s dismissal of whistleblower actions. The False Claims Act (FCA) grants the government the power to dismiss qui tam actions but courts have divided over what the government must show to obtain dismissal.
A Statement from Colette Matzzie, a Partner at Phillips & Cohen Law Firm
“The arguments being heard in the Polansky Supreme Court case present important issues about the role of whistleblowers in proceeding with a “qui tam” action to recover for fraud on federal programs. Every year hundreds of new qui tam cases are filed alerting the government to fraudulent schemes. The law authorizes whistleblowers to proceed in court with these qui tam actions in which the government does not intervene. These so-called “declined” or “non-intervened” cases have recovered over $2.4 billion for the United States treasury since 1986. Whistleblowers often invest many years in pursuing these actions and the recoveries they achieve are an important part of the government’s fraud recoveries each year. It is true that the law gives the government the right to dismiss qui tam actions but allowing the government unfettered discretion to dismiss after many years of litigation could deter meritorious cases, something which Congress did not intend.