Mann v. Heckler & Koch Defense, Inc.
DISCLAIMER: Our firm's past results do not predict or guarantee future success. Each case is unique. Read more
The Eastern District of Virginia held that a False Claims Act retaliation plaintiff did not have to allege an actual violation of the False Claims Act in order to proceed past the Motion to Dismiss phase.
Summary of Filed Complaint
TELG client Jason Mann alleged that his former employer Heckler & Koch Defense, Inc. (HKD) retaliated against him because he investigated and raised concerns about HKD’s submission of a potentially fraudulent bid for the sale of rifles to the U.S. Secret Service.
What Happened in Court
TELG client Jason Mann prevailed over defendant Heckler & Koch’s motion to dismiss when The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia rejected H&K’s narrow construction of the False Claims Act, concluding that an FCA retaliation plaintiff need not allege an actual violation of the FCA. The court also held that protected activity under the FCA should be interpreted broadly and that FCA retaliation claims are subject to Rule 8(a)’s notice pleading standard, not to the heightened requirements of Rule 9.
Unfortunately, Mann lost on summary judgment when the court held that Mann’s actions could not meet the “distinct possibility” standard for protected activity under the FCA because H&K was not actually engaging in fraud.