Our Boston injury lawyers are aware that whistleblowers are doing a great service by reporting a wrongdoing by a company or organization when no one else will. Fortunately, there are laws, such as federal government’s False Claims Act (FCA), the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and several Massachusetts laws, which provide whistleblowers some protections, including protection retaliation from an employer. A whistleblower also may be entitled to a percentage of a settlement reached with the entity that has been sued over the illegal activity.
Private citizens can file a qui tam “whistleblower” lawsuit on behalf of the federal government against the party that committed the wrongdoing. The whistleblower must have direct and independent information about the alleged fraud-information that has not been publicly disclosed-and actual evidence that fraud has been committed. He/she might choose to report the wrongdoing internally or to regulators, the media, agencies, or attorneys.
Our Boston whistleblower lawyers know how intimidating it might be to expose illegal misconduct-especially when committed by your own employer. We can help stop this misconduct while protecting a client’s rights and making sure he/she is compensated for having the courage to speak out and file a whistleblower complaint.
Recent whistleblower cases making the headlines:
• Last week, Lockheed Martin settled allegations that it submitted false claims on a US government contract for $2 million related to its work on the Naval Oceanographic Office Major Shared Resource Center. Its settlement is the same amount. The company’s alleged wrongdoings were reported in a whistleblower lawsuit. For filing the whistleblower complaint, David Magee, a former center employee, will get $560,000 of the settlement.
• Hospitals in several states have settled their qui tam lawsuit accusing them of fraudulent billing practices and charged Medicare too much for a surgery procedure known as kyphoplasty. The settlements with seven hospitals brings the total recovery of the case to $101 million. Whistleblowers Craig Patrick and Chuck Bates, who both used to work for one of the entities that also settled with the government over the fraud, are entitled to receive 15% to 25% of what the government recovers.
Lockheed to pay $2 million to settle lawsuit, The Washington Post, January 25, 2011
Medicare Claims Settlement Nets $6.3M from 7 Hospitals, HealthleadersMedia, January 6, 2011