Whistleblower Law Blog

Eleventh Circuit Partially Reverses Dismissal of FCA Case

On February 18, 2010, the Eleventh Circuit partially overruled a district court’s dismissal of a False Claims Act case.  In US ex rel. Sanchez v. Lymphatx, Inc., an employee brought a False Claims Act action against her former employer for fraudulent Medicare billing practices and retaliation.  She also alleges that she was fired after complaining to her employer about “unlawful actions” and “warn[ing] them that they were ‘incurring significant criminal and civil liability.’”

The district court granted the employer’s motion to dismiss, holding that Sanchez failed to satisfy the pleading requirements of Rule 9(b) and failed to state a claim of retaliation under 31 U.S.C. § 3720(h).  Sanchez appealed, claiming that she should have been granted leave to amend her complaint.  On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit upheld the dismissal of the qui tam action but overturned the dismissal of the retaliation claim, holding that “[b]ecause her retaliation claim did not depend on allegations of fraud, Sanchez’s complaint only needed ‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that [she was] entitled to relief’” under Rule 8(a).

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