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Presented by Hodgson Russ, the Whistleblower Blog is written by a team of lawyers experienced in successfully guiding both whistleblowers and companies accused by whistleblowers of wrongdoing through the False Claims Act process.

New Government Numbers for False Claims Act Filings

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Recent government tallies reveal a surge in False Claims Act filings. By fall of last year, there were 1,246 qui tam cases under seal at the Department of Justice (DOJ) (i.e., pending investigation into whether the government will intervene). That number has grown by almost 100 cases as of last month. This growing caseload is reflected in the raw number of 2010 qui tam filings—over 500—which represents a dramatic 51 percent jump from the number of whistleblower cases filed just two years earlier.

Additional False Claims Act details have been made available in a joint letter from DOJ and the Department of Health and Human Services to Senator Charles Grassley. In that letter, the government recounts that 66 percent of the cases it is investigating involve health care fraud allegations. Of these, 180 cases allege fraud in connection with the pricing and marketing of pharmaceuticals. About 80 of these qui tam cases involve hospitals.

The government also reports that so far in fiscal year 2011 there have been 19 settlements and judgments, totaling more than $1.2 billion.

Also noteworthy to potential whistleblowers is that, according to official tallies, the average time a case remains under seal and pending investigation is only thirteen months. In recent years, the government reports that it has intervened in an average of 22 percent of qui tam cases.

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Hodgson Russ is one of only a few major law firms that represents both whistleblowers and companies accused by whistleblowers of wrongdoing. This unusual perspective means we are exceptionally well positioned to advise whistleblowers about potential claims.

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