Amendments to False Claims Act – implications for Katrina qui tam litigation

President Obama signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act containing significant amendments to False Claims Act the very day on May 20,2009 – the very day the pre-trial hearing on the Rigsby qui tam claim commenced in Southern District Mississippi Federal Count.

Among the most significant provisions of the new law are its amendments to the False Claims Act, 31 USC §§ 3729-33 (FCA). According to the Senate Judiciary Committee Report, these amendments—the first substantive revisions to the FCA in more than 22 years—were enacted to reverse judicial interpretations which “undermined” the statute by “limiting the scope of the law…”

The cumulative impact of these amendments is to alter significantly the landscape of FCA jurisprudence.

clarifications on fca via fera all files_Page_1One analysis posed the question when is an amendment not an amendment.  The answer – or rather the answer from the perspective of Congress – is when amendments are made as clarification to reflect the original intent of the  law.

code with additions deletions notedIf the Rigsbys’ qui tam claim were filed today, there would be enormous benefit in these amendments.  Even as a pending case, however, the Rigsbys’ claim is subject to certain provisions.

F. SECTION 4(F). EFFECTIVE DATE AND APPLICATION
(f) Effective Date and Application- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act and shall apply to conduct on or after the date of enactment, except that– Continue reading “Amendments to False Claims Act – implications for Katrina qui tam litigation”