What is a Qui Tam Case?
A qui tam case is a type of whistleblower lawsuit in which the plaintiff sues the defendant for violating a regulation or someone else’s rights. The plaintiff may not have suffered harm from the alleged violation, but he or she is claiming that the violation occurred and could or did harm someone. Qui tam cases are brought pursuant to The False Claims Act (FCA). The False Claims Act is a federal law that imposes liability on persons and companies (typically federal contractors) who defraud governmental programs.
The False Claims Act allows a private citizen to sue an individual or a business that is defrauding the government and recover funds on the government’s behalf. The qui tam lawsuit is filed “under seal,” meaning that it is kept secret from everyone but the government to give the Justice Department time to investigate the allegations. Even the person or entity being accused of fraud is not told about the qui tam case. The qui tam lawsuit and supporting documents should provide the government with detailed information about the fraud.
This sounds complicated because it is. You should work with a Columbus qui tam lawyer before coming forward with any type of whistleblower information. Making reports that lack evidence or approaching the wrong agency can significantly reduce your chances for holding a company, employer, or group accountable for breaking important rules put in place to protect individuals’ health, safety, civil rights, and employment opportunities.
What does ‘qui tam’ mean?
The Latin term is a shorthand version of qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, which is usually translated as “[he or she] who sues for the king as well as with himself in what follows in this respect.” The state or federal government replaces “the king” in the United States, but the underlying common law principal remains the same. When a person discovers that a rule or regulation is being broken, that person can initiate a civil lawsuit under the authority of the government. The most-appropriate government agency eventually takes over as the litigant — the entity that presents the case to a judge and jury — but the original plaintiff remains a party to the suit and retains a right to share in any monetary settlement or award.
What types of qui tam cases are there?
Qui tam cases commonly address problems related to:
- Medical provider fraud against hospitals, clinics, or home health services for fraudulent billing practices. These fraudulent billing practices harm Government healthcare payers. Fraudulent billing examples include forged records, double-billing, and “upcoding” (billing for a more expensive procedure than the one performed). These are most common with Medicare and Medicaid healthcare providers.
- Defense contractor fraud including overbilling, product substitution, cross charging, contractor fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan, and failure to comply with contract specifications.
- Financial industry fraud including tax fraud, money laundering and violations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
There are many other examples. Please contact one of our Columbus whistleblower attorneys to determine if your case could potentially fall under the False Claims Act.
Again, speaking with a qui tam attorney in Columbus will help a person who witnesses or experiences what they believe to be wrongdoing understand if he or she has grounds for filing a lawsuit and which agency to approach with their concerns.
What happens during a qui tam case?
The qui tam process starts with an official complaint that is filed under seal. Officials will ask for all the evidence the plaintiff can produce. Quite a bit of paperwork will need to be filed, and one or more interviews will usually take place. Your lawyers will be present with you during those interviews.
The agency will open an investigation if it believes the plaintiff’s claims have merit. This can result in either dropping the case if the evidence does not pan out or moving forward to recoup money stolen from the government. As noted, the agency acts as the litigant before the court. The plaintiff will be asked to give a deposition and may be required to testify in court. A qui tam attorney can represent the plaintiff at each stage of the process.
The discrimination and employment lawyers in the Columbus, Ohio, offices of the Friedmann Firm welcome all questions about whistleblower complaints and qui tam cases. You can schedule a free and confidential consultation online or by calling 614.610.9755.
Rachel was absolutely amazing. As an attorney she really took the time to really listen to my concerns. She was honest and kept me informed every step of the way. The outcome was favorable on my behalf and I appreciate her efforts to achieve a good outcome. I would highly recommend her and the Friedmann firm to represent me if ever needed in future.
Working with Rachel Sabo from Friedmann Firm was absolutely amazing! She upholds integrity, honesty and without a doubt fights for what is right! Rachel was extremely transparent and real! Please don’t let wrong be right, Rachel will strive to advocate and put her whole heart in obtaining resolve in your situation! What an absolute blessing, she won my case in less than 1 week💪
My experience with the Friedmann Firm is an absolute 5 stars. From my very first call with Karen, to all of my communication with Rachel, everything exceeded all of my expectations. Rachel and Karen were so caring and understanding in a very sensitive situation. They responded immediately to any questions or concerns I had. I would HIGHLY recommend the Friedmann Firm. They are caring, professional, understanding, and I would trust them with any issue I have in the future.
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm were fantastic to work with. The thought of needing an employment lawyer was scary for me, it was confusing and complex. But Rachel listened, asked questions and took time to really understand me and my priorities. I felt calm, supported and excited for the first time in weeks after talking to her!! We worked together to review everything, set expectations and meet my priorities! Thanks Rachel and team for all your work!!!
Rachel Friedmann of the Friedman Firm was my attorney for a very recent legal matter. I would highly recommend Rachel based on her legal knowledge, her honest appraisal of the matter and expected outcomes, her open communication and timely responses to my questions and the matter itself, and her steadfastness in dealing with the opposing counsel until a final agreement was reached.
Rachel and her staff went over and above the call of duty to help me achieve fiscal resolution to my legal issue. She wasn’t always available to talk but was always responsive via text and email when in court out of the office and even on vacation. I feel she earned her percentage cut.
Couldn’t be happier with the representation I received from Jamie Bailey on my civil litigation case. She worked tirelessly to resolve the case and in the end negotiated a fair settlement on my behalf. I would highly recommend her to anyone! Thanks for everything Friedman law firm.
Friedman Firm was a great help in a difficult time in my life. They went above and beyond to get me back on track. Rachel was so good to work with and is extremely knowledgeable about the law and employment rights. Can't thank them enough for all there hard work. Highly recommend them to anyone.
The Friedmann Firm (specifically Pete Friedmann) represented me through what seemed like a never ending employment discrimination suit. The suit was filed just before Covid shut everything down in 2020. Add to that a former employer who refused to admit fault. In spite of all of that, Pete stood resolute in his representation of me and working for the best outcome for me. We ended up settling prior to trial and I was more than satisfied with the results. Pete was always available to answer questions and reassure me throughout this process. I highly recommend The Friedmann Firm!
Pete Friedmann and his firm are fantastic. He represented me for more than a year going through a suit with a previous employer. He walked me through every step of the process and was always quick to respond to any questions I had. My settlement came in and we parted ways with both sides being pleased with the outcome. I highly recommend the Friedmann firm and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future if the need arose. Thank you, Pete!
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm have been amazing to work with. Rachel was very helpful, listened to our concerns and took our case. She communicated well throughout and really worked for us. We were very well represented!
I loved working with The Friedmann Firm. Rachel and Jamie are exceptional lawyers and were diligent in reviewing my case and letting me know of my options. Jamie was extremely thorough and handled even the smallest details of my case with ease. The entire process was seamless and they were always quick to respond to emails and calls. I would definitely recommend working with The Friedmann Firm.
I would recommend Rachel Sabo Friedmann and the Friedmann firm for severance negotiations. Rachel was always available and responsive and made an effort to ensure I was updated on every step of the process. Her diligent efforts produced a prompt resolution and we are very happy with the results!