Posts Tagged ‘Public Discl’

Seventh Circuit Allows Relator To Overcome Public Disclosure Bar

DisclosureThe public disclosure bar can be a major factor in a qui tam action brought under a False Claims Act. The bar seeks to prevent lawsuits by “opportunistic plaintiffs who have no significant information to contribute of their own.” Graham County Soil & Water Conservation Dist. v. U.S. ex rel. Wilson, 559 U.S. 280, 294 (2010). To overcome the bar, the relator needs to be the original source of the information.

Unfortunately for some relators, some courts have applied the bar too stringently, finding that a case can’t proceed when it is based on publicly available information. However, a recent case out of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals took a more lenient route which should benefit future relators. U.S. ex rel. Heath v. Wisconsin Bell, Inc., 12-3383, 2014 WL 3704023 (7th Cir. 2014).

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