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U.S. Supreme Court Petitioned to Resolve Circuit Split on FCA Case Ruling

Law 360 recently reported on a False Claims Act (FCA) case that has reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

Erlanger Medical Center, a Tennessee hospital accused of knowingly submitting fraudulent claims for reimbursement to Medicaid, Medicare and other federal healthcare programs, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Sixth Circuit ruling on a False Claims Act case. Last year, the Sixth Circuit rejected the argument that the FCA complaint filed by a whistleblower, Robert Whipple, was invalid because disclosures made to government auditors and consultants did not constitute public disclosures – a condition that would have killed a False Claims Act suit. 

The Second and Seventh circuit courts would have ruled in the defendant’s favor, but the Sixth Circuit refused to reconsider the case en banc, citing a Ninth Circuit precedent. The Supreme Court has been petitioned to resolve the circuit, split which is critical to litigating FCA cases. 

JGL’s Jay Holland and Brian Markovitz represent Whipple. Commenting on the petition to the high court, Markovitz said, “We believe that the Sixth Circuit en banc got the decision right, and we’re hopeful that the Supreme Court will see the matter as we do, which is that this is something that should now be handled by the trial court on the merits.” 

The case is Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority v. USA ex rel. Robert Whipple, case number 15-96 in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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