In January 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a False Claims Act (FCA) qui tam case that addresses the application of the WSLA to the FCA and the current circuit split regarding the proper interpretation of the FCA's “first-to-file” rule. This article discusses the case's history and some of the practical effects that the upcoming decision may have.
This article by David L. Scher and TELG managing principal R. Scott Oswald was published by Contract Management on March 1, 2015. The full article is available as a PDF on our site and at Contract Management.
Will 2015 Bring Expanded Liability for Contractors Under the FCA?
On January 13, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Carter,1 a False Claims Act2 [FCA] qui tam case addressing the application of the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act3 [WSLA] to qui tam claims, as well as the scope of the FCA's “first-to-file” bar.
Petitioner Kellog Brown & Root (KBR) was seeking to overturn a decision by the Fourth Circuit applying the WLSA to the FCA in a manner that could expand the FCA's statute of limitations well beyond its current six-year term. KBR was also arguing for a conservative interpretation of the “first-to-file” bar, which the Fourth Circuit and others interpret to allow plaintiffs to file multiple actions so long as no similar matters are pending or have been decided on their merits.