Whistleblower Law Blog

After Digital Realty Trust: Bill Protecting Whistleblowers Heads to the Senate

July 24, 2019
On July 9, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2515, also known as the Whistleblower Protection Reform Act of 2019 (“WPRA”). The WPRA is designed to address a gap in the whistleblower protections afforded under the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”), as...

Post-Escobar Ruling Further Defines Materiality in False Claims Act

June 4, 2019
In a May 2019 decision in the case of United States v. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., a California court permitted whistleblower Brian Markus’s claims against Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (“Aerojet”) to proceed under the False Claims Act (“FCA”), providing further guidance on the meaning of materiality in cases...

CFTC Grants Whistleblower Award of Over $2M

May 20, 2019
On March 4, 2019, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for the first time awarded a whistleblower over $2 million for providing the Commission with information that led to a successful enforcement action for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), and a related action brought by another federal...

Does the Law Mean What it Says? Supreme Court to Decide Time Limits on False Claims Act Lawsuits

May 14, 2019
UPDATE: The Supreme Court ruled to affirm the judgment of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Whistleblowers will be able to benefit from section (b)(2)'s longer statute of limitations when bringing qui tam claims under the FCA. By the end of June, the Supreme Court is likely going to decide an obscure question that could...

Pharmaceutical Whistleblower Awarded $1.8M for Unlawful Retaliation

April 17, 2019
New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act, N.J. Stat. § 34:19-1 et seq. (“CEPA”), has resulted in another substantial whistleblower victory. According to Law360, in late February 2019, a New Jersey jury returned a verdict of over $1.8 million in favor of Min Amy Guo, a whistleblower who alleged that Novartis...

Ninth Circuit Affirms $8 million SOX Whistleblower Award

April 9, 2019
On February 26, 2019, the Ninth Circuit affirmed $8 million of an $11 million jury award to a former general counsel whistleblower, vacating his Dodd-Frank Act claim, vacating and remanding his Sarbanes-Oxley Act claim, and affirming his California wrongful termination claim. In January 2017, a jury found that defendants Bio-...

Whistleblower Suit Against Pharmaceutical Company Heads to Trial

March 14, 2019
Last month the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of whistleblowers against a pharmaceutical company’s motion for summary judgment, setting up a trial on the whistleblowers’ claim that the company defrauded federal and state governments by illegally bribing and rewarding doctors...

New Study Confirms Efficacy of SOX-Mandated Internal Whistleblower Systems

February 19, 2019
Late last year, financial researchers Stephen Stubben and Kyle Welch published a first-of-its kind study analyzing the use of internal whistleblowing systems at over 900 publicly-traded companies in the United States. The study, “Evidence on the Use and Efficacy of Internal Whistleblowing Systems,” found wide variation in the...

Fourth Circuit Clarifies Broadened Scope of Protected Conduct Under the False Claims Act

February 14, 2019
On December 26, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit revived whistleblower David Grant’s False Claims Act (“FCA”) retaliation claim against his former employer United Airlines because the lower court applied the wrong standard. The Court reasoned that the 2010 amendments to the FCA broadened the scope of...

Ninth Circuit Solidifies Mandatory Escobar Test by Denying en banc Rehearing

December 11, 2018
On November 24, 2018, the Ninth Circuit denied the Stephens Institute’s petition for rehearing en banc in United States ex rel. Rose v. Stephens Institute, 901 F.3d 1124 (9th Cir. 2018), reh’g denied, --- F.3d ----, 2018 WL 6165627 (Nov. 24, 2018), a False Claims Act case in which the relators alleged an “implied false...

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