False Claims ActionSometimes, doing the right thing is on a much larger scale than personal interactions. If someone witnesses fraud committed against the state or federal government, they can file a lawsuit and claim part of the damages awarded. The Coye Law Firm is dedicated to pursuing what is right and our false claims action attorneys can provide you with aggressive legal representation in these claims. If you have witnessed a crime and are seeking justice, contact one of our four offices today.
The False Claims ActAn individual with inside knowledge is allowed to file suit against a company that is committing fraud against the government. Also called "whistleblowing," this act allows regulation by private individuals or groups. Florida law states that if you work for a company and wish to file a claim about their alleged fraud, your job cannot be threatened. The False Claims act is law, and acting within the law is not grounds for being fired, demoted, or having the terms of your employment changed.
BackgroundThe False Claims Act was enacted in 1863 in the midst of fraud being committed during the Civil War. People were defrauding the government out of money, and legal measures were put in place to reclaim the damages. If the government isn't aware of the fraud, a person or other private party may file suit on their behalf even if they weren't personally harmed by the action. They then become what is known as a "qui tam relator." The phrase "qui tam" comes from the beginning of a Latin phrase meaning "he who brings a case on behalf of our lord the King, as well as for himself.”
How to File a Claimcontacting a false claims action lawyer is the first step in filing a claim under this law. Because these claims may potentially involve the government, they are kept secret for some time during the litigation process. After 60 days, the department investigating the matter must decide whether or not to show "good cause" for keeping the information out of the public's knowledge. If the lawsuit is on behalf of the federal government, the Attorney General or an attorney for the Department of Justice pursues the claim. If the suit is on behalf of Florida's state government, the Department of Legal Affairs investigates and a suit may be filed by the Department of Financial Services.
Read more about the federal process here . The Florida False Claims Act can be read here in full.
BenefitsAfter the government is made aware of the suit and joins the case, this person or group is entitled to receive 15-25% of the proceeds if the case is successful. If no department backs an individual's case and they win, the person who brought the suit forward is entitled to all of the damages. Attorneys fees and costs may be awarded as well. However, if the government does not support the lawsuit, the individual decides to pursue it, and the defendant wins, the person bringing the suit may have to pay for the defendant's legal costs. In any case, it is important to consult an experienced false claims action law firm to thoroughly investigate your claim to gain support or bring a strong case to trial.
If you have witnessed an injustice against the government and want to pursue legal action, you need a trial lawyer to defend you and pursue your claim in court. Without one, the process can be messy and end up costing you time and money. Call the Coye Law Firm to begin this complicated process with an experienced false claims action attorney.