False Claims Act (Qui tam actions)
While whistleblowers have been around as long as governments and big business, consumer advocate Ralph Nader is credited with coining the phrase back in the 1970s. The Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and fighting for whistleblowers, defines a whistleblower as any “employee who discloses information that he/she reasonably believes is evidence of illegality, gross waste or fraud, mismanagement, abuse of power, general wrongdoing, or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety”.
There have been dozens of high-profile whistleblowers over the years, starting with none other than Benjamin Franklin, whose leak of private letters helped drive the colonies toward revolution. Without whistleblowers, we wouldn’t have found out about Watergate, Enron’s terrible bookkeeping, or even the federal government’s worldwide surveillance programs.
If you have non-public information about fraud against the government and are deciding whether to blow the whistle, you need confidential, secure, and private counsel regarding your rights and potential for recovery. It is imperative that you seek experienced, qualified counsel before you take action or make any of your private information public.
If you have non-public evidence of a fraud on the government, you could be entitled to a percentage of that recovery as a “relator” under federal or state law. If you are involved in a conflict with a special district, do not wait to call a Colorado corporate litigation attorney at Burg Simpson at 303-792-5595.
WHAT IS WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS?
There are roughly two dozen federal statutes that protect whistleblowers in a variety of industries. Retaliation can take several forms, such as threats of or actual unfavorable administrative actions (discipline, demotion, or termination) or harassment.
In Colorado, there are a pair of statutes that protect public and private employees from retaliation, as well. Additionally, Colorado passed the Medicaid False Claims Act in 2010, which – among other things – allows whistleblowers to bring a private claim on behalf of the state and share in the recovery. The law also included updated causes of action for health care workers in the case of retaliation.
If you are a Colorado employee who has evidence of fraud, do not do anything before speaking with a Denver corporate litigation lawyer. Call Burg Simpson today at 303-792-5595.
CALL A BURG SIMPSON TRIAL ATTORNEY FOR HELP
Navigating the stormy waters of a false claims act, or “qui tam” lawsuit as it’s called, requires a delicate balance to ensure that a wrong is righted and justice prevails, while also protecting your rights and privacy in the process. This type of lawsuit requires a thorough investigation and presentation of evidence of the fraud to the government by a firm with the results, reputation, and resources necessary to prevail. We will meet with you and review your potential whistleblower action and discuss your rights and potential for recovery confidentially and at no charge at the initial meeting.
If you have concerns regarding a whistleblower case, reach out to the Denver commercial litigation lawyers call Burg Simpson right away at 303-792-5595. We can help protect you from any form of retaliation you might be facing.