Whistleblower Law Blog

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...

ARB Upholds $1.1 Million Award to Maritime Whistleblower

July 10, 2018
The Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB) recently upheld a $1.1 million award to a ship captain who was forced out of his position after blowing the whistle on safety violations aboard his vessel.  John Loftus brought a complaint against his former employer, Horizon Lines, Inc. (later bought by Matson Alaska,...

Big Win for IRS Whistleblowers as U.S. Tax Court Ruling on 'Collected Proceeds' Stands

May 31, 2018
In March, a settlement between the IRS and two whistleblowers finally put to rest a long-pending dispute about the amount of money IRS whistleblowers can receive for successfully reporting tax fraud or other serious tax underpayments. Under the IRS whistleblower reward program, a whistleblower who provides information to the...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Upholds $3.2M Whistleblower Award Based on Both Economic and Noneconomic Damages

April 2, 2018
Pennsylvania whistleblowers received a major win on Tuesday, March 28, 2018, when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision affirming a $3.2 million verdict in favor of Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (“PTC”) whistleblower, Ralph Bailets.  The decision was notable for two reasons: (1) it confirmed that...

Bank of America Lawsuit Shows Why Whistleblower Practitioners Should Think Beyond Federal Protections

March 20, 2018
A California jury awarded a former Bank of America employee over $550,000 in February – and that was before it determined its punitive damages award. The verdict demonstrates that there may be additional routes of recovery available to whistleblowers outside the confines of the federal whistleblower statutes. The Facts of the...

A VA Doctor's Suicide Results in New Whistleblower Protections

February 22, 2018
On October 26, 2017, a new law went into effect, aimed at ramping up protections for federal employees who report waste, fraud, or abuse in the federal government and ensuring accountability for supervisors who retaliate against them.  The Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, named for a whistleblower who...

How the Bipartisan Budget Act Will Benefit Whistleblowers

February 13, 2018
On February 9, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Two provisions of the law that have received little coverage in the press provide a great boon for whistleblowers seeking awards through the SEC, CFTC, and IRS whistleblower programs, as well as any state false claims act. In order to...

Judge Finds that 'Technical' Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Violations Constitute False Claims for Payment

November 14, 2017
In late August 2017, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held that violations of the federal Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute that defendants characterized as merely “technical” were, in fact, material to the federal government’s decision to reimburse healthcare entities for goods and services. See U.S. ex rel. Emanuele v....

Police Whistleblowers Could Help Curb Unethical Practices within the Force

October 25, 2017
A jury in Idaho recently awarded an Idaho State Police (ISP) whistleblower a verdict of $1.53 million on his charges of unlawful retaliation in violation of the Idaho Protection of Public Employees Act. Detective Brandon Eller had been marginalized, denied a pay increase, and transferred into less attractive night and weekend...

The Need for Whistleblower Protections at the Office for Human Research Protections

October 19, 2017
According to a recent investigative report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), employees’ fear of reprisal may limit the Office of Human Research Protections’ (OHRP) ability to enforce protections for human subjects at research institutions with HHS-funded grants or contracts...

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