Recent False Claims Act Decisions Send Important Reminders: It's Damages—Not a Windfall—but Penalties Can Still Be Significant
The Procurement Lawyer
The recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in United States ex rel. Schutte v. SuperValu Inc., regarding scienter under the civil False Claims Act (FCA) has quite understandably been receiving a great deal of attention. In this article, Jason Workmaster and Connor Farrell discuss a trio of other recent cases on the issue of FCA damages and penalties that also should be kept in mind. Given that there is far more caselaw on liability under the FCA than there is caselaw addressing FCA damages and penalties, these cases — United States ex rel. Morsell v. NortonLifeLock, Inc., United States v. Honeywell International Inc., and Yates v. Pinellas Hematology & Oncology, P.A. — are of particular significance. The authors provide a brief overview of the FCA and address each case in detail. Workmaster and Farrell conclude that while the holdings of these cases do not signal a seismic shift, they perhaps demonstrate a trend by courts to be skeptical of aggressive FCA damages theories — a positive takeaway for government contractors — even though penalties remain a significant issue. They provide the significant takeaways and considerations contractors will want to keep in mind in light of these recent decisions.
"Recent False Claims Act Decisions Send Important Reminders: It's Damages—Not a Windfall—but Penalties Can Still Be Significant," by Jason Workmaster and Connor Farrell, published in The Procurement Lawyer, Volume 58, Number 3 & 4, Summer 2023. © 2023 American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.