In recent weeks, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has announced multiple False Claims Act settlements in qui tam whistleblower cases. The FCA allows a private individual, who has inside knowledge of fraud resulting in a financial loss to the United States Government, to file a lawsuit on behalf of the Government in federal court. Once the Government recovers any damages in the case, the whistleblower who initiated the lawsuit is eligible for a reward of between 15-30% of the total amount recovered.
Last month, the DOJ announced that it had entered into a settlement agreement with ResMed Corp. for $37.5 million. ResMed is a manufacturer of medical equipment related to sleep apnea in San Diego, California. Whistleblowers initially filed five separate qui tam lawsuits against ResMed claiming that it illegally paid kickbacks to suppliers, sleep labs, and health care providers to sell more of its equipment. The alleged actions violated the Anti-Kickback Statute, which prevents the knowing and willful payment of any remuneration for inducing the referral of services or items that are paid for by a federal healthcare program, such as Medicare, Medicaid, or TRICARE.Read more here.