It was another year of interesting developments under the federal False Claims Act. Based on our collective decades of experience investigating and litigating these cases at all stages, we compile below what we view as the most important recent developments and the implications of these decisions for FCA jurisprudence in the coming months.
U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up FCA Statute of Limitations
An FCA plaintiff only has six years to bring her case, except that she will get three years after “facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by the official of the United States charged with responsibility to act in the circumstances,” even if that means more than six years after the action accrues, but only to a maximum of 10 years.
This is one of several FCA provisions born of a simple idea but ambiguously drafted. Although the three-year provision maps easily onto a case brought by the government, what about qui tam cases brought by relators? May they avail themselves of the provision?