A brief review of recent decisions in False Claims Act cases in the Intermountain West:
- In Klaassen v. University of Kansas School of Medicine, the District Court of Kansas concluded that the anti-retaliation provision of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §3730(h), “does not authorize suits against states” or arms of states, such as state-run universities. The district court found that the 11th Amendment bars such claims and that the statute did not evince an intent on the part of Congress to abrogate sovereign immunity for such claims.
- In the same case, the Klaassen court found that §3730(h) also “does not provide for recovery against individuals.”
- In U.S. ex rel. Todd v. Fidelity National Financial, Inc., the District of Colorado ruled that the court’s dismissal of the relator’s substantive claims under False Claims Act did not necessarily bar the same relator’s claim under the anti-retaliation provision of the FCA. (Citing U.S. ex rel. Ramseyer v. Century Healthcare Corp., 90 F.3d 1514, 1522 (10th Cir. 1996) (“The case law is clear that a retaliation claim can be maintained even if no FCA action is ultimately successful or even filed.”))
- Pro se parties are still not allowed to prosecute False Claims Act cases. The District of Colorado reaffirmed this long-standing rule in U.S. ex rel. Owen v. Duran.
- The False Claims Act’s anti-retaliation provision has a three-year statute of limitations following the Dodd-Frank Act’s amendments. In Dopp v. Taylor’s Crossing Public Charter School, Inc., the defendant sought summary judgment on the plaintiff’s anti-retaliation claim under the False Claims Act, arguing that a 180-day limitations period applied. Apparently the defendant was unaware that the Dodd-Frank Act specified a three-year limitations period for those claims. The court denied the motion.