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.

Posts from August 2010.

On August 13, 2010, New York State Governor Paterson signed into law Assembly Bill 11568, which includes major changes to New York’s False Claims Act, enacted in 2007. According to legislators, the bill was passed to address several issues that have arisen in the courts since its enactment. It is also designed to assure that the New York law continues to keep pace with federal law. One of the biggest changes, a divergence from the federal False Claims Act, is a provision that allows qui tam plaintiffs to bring actions for tax fraud, but only when the net income or sales of the defendant total $1 million or more and the damages pleaded in the action exceed $350,000. It also strengthens the protections for whistleblowers, both private individuals and government employees, who uncover information concerning the misuse of government funds. These amendments took effect immediately and apply to all false claims, records, and statements made or used prior to, on, or after the April 1, 2007, effective date of the New York False Claims Act.

False Claims Act settlements are increasing dramatically in the medical industry, and many of the growing number of settlements are being paid by an unlikely target: hospitals. Over the past few months, Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, in Long Island; Mercy Hospital, in Springfield, Massachusetts; and Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, in Nashua, New Hampshire, all resolved False Claims Act cases with considerable settlements. Most of the whistleblower claims were based on allegations of improper charges to obtain Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. 

Commentators are talking about the somewhat under-the-radar whistleblower provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, recently signed into law by President Obama. This massive law is a sweeping overhaul of the financial system, and it includes a number of provisions expanding opportunities and increasing protections for whistleblowers. The National Whistleblower Center has compiled the sections of the act pertaining to whistleblowers and has posted it here.

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