Supreme Court’s FCA Seal Violation Opinion Lacks Needed Guidance

The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion in State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, No. 15­513 (Dec. 6, 2016), is a disappointingly narrow decision. It merely holds that dismissal of a False Claims Act qui tam suit for violation of the “seal” provision, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2), is not mandatory. The decision leaves intact a circuit split regarding how a district court should decide whether to dismiss a qui tam suit for a seal violation, and short of dismissal, how to decide what remedies and/or sanctions to impose on the violator.

Click here to read more of my State Farm analysis, which appears in November 9, 2016 editions of Law360.

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