For over 39 years, Montlick & Associates has aggressively fought for justice on behalf of plaintiffs, and our attorneys stand ready to investigate claims that look to expose unethical or illegal activities within public or private organizations that contract with the U.S. Government. With billions of dollars recovered for our clients, Our Experience Pays!™*
Whistleblower claims, known as “Qui Tam” lawsuits, arise out alleged wrongdoing of governmental officials or corporations that conduct business with the government. Specifically, such claims are made pursuant to the False Claims Act, which allows for individuals to bring claims on the government’s behalf in order to expose and recover for fraud against the United States.
If you believe that you have a whistleblower case, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation.**Contact us Nationwide, 24/7 at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or by simply dialing #WIN (#946) from your cellphone. You may also visit us at Montlick.com and contact us through our Free Case Evaluation Form or Free 24-hour live chat.
The term “qui tam” comes from a longer Latin phrase referring to “he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself.” In the legal context, it refers to a type of lawsuit brought under the Federal False Claims Act that seeks to alert the government to and protect the government from fraudulent activities by another individual or entity. These suits can save the government substantial amounts of money, and the False Claims Act provides reward incentives for filing them.
The False Claims Act allows any private citizen to file a qui tam lawsuit. If you believe that a person or entity is engaged in fraudulent activities affecting the government, you may file a suit and recover on behalf of the government. Our experienced lawyers can help you understand if you have a potentially viable qui tam lawsuit that deserves to be investigated.
The process for a qui tam lawsuit is different from a regular lawsuit. First, the claimant files the lawsuit “under seal,” which means that only the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) will know about the claim — Not even the accused will know about the suit during this time. The suit will be kept under seal for a minimum of 60 days in order to give the DOJ enough time to investigate the allegations. The documents filed in conjunction with the complaint provide the government information sufficient to launch an investigation.
After the 60-day window elapses, the DOJ then investigates the allegations and make a determination about whether to join the lawsuit, and it will often reach out to the whistleblower’s counsel throughout the investigation. The investigation can take a significant amount of time, and the court overseeing the complaint can elect to extend the seal until the government has completed its investigation. Sometimes, the DOJ will request a partial lift of the seal in order to discuss the allegations with the accused, and doing often helps to reach a settlement.
It is rare for the government to choose to join the suit, and the False Claims Act allows the claimant to continue pursuing the case on his or her own. In a successful qui tam case, it is more common that a sum will be negotiated during an out-of-court settlement, but the case can also go to trial. If the accused individual or entity is found liable in a trial, the judge could order repayment to the government of up to three times the government’s losses, plus additional penalties.
It is important to remember that any money recovered in a qui tam lawsuit belongs to the government, not the claimant. However, under the False Claims Act, the whistleblower is rewarded for a qui tam lawsuit that results in recovery on behalf of the government. The amount of the reward will depend on the circumstances of the case but can range from 15 to 30 percent of the total recovery.
If you believe you have a potential whistleblower / qui tam lawsuit, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation.** Contact us Nationwide, 24/7 at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or by simply dialing #WIN (#946) from your cellphone. You may also visit us at Montlick.com and contact us through our Free Case Evaluation Form or Free 24-hour live chat.
*Dollars recovered are cumulative and not indicative of individual case results. Each case is unique. Results depend on the facts and applicable law.
**Legal Services are provided by Montlick & Associates, P.C. and local associated law firms at no additional cost to you depending on the jurisdiction, and any specialized expertise required. For more information, click here.