Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Who Can Be a Whistleblower?
Anyone with evidence of fraud can be a whistleblower. Typically in medical product cases, someone who understands the business of the corporation is often the person who comes forward. It can be anyone from a manager, sales representative, accountant, marketing executive, health professionals or anyone who knows about an institution’s business practices.
What Protections Do I Have Once I File a Claim?
Some people worry about retaliation from their employer if they file a false claims case. Pursuing a qui tam lawsuit is usually a better course of action compared to reporting fraud to a representative of the company. A qui tam lawsuit will be “under seal” for at least 60 days while the government investigates, which means the manufacturer in question will not know about the claim or who filed it during that time.
Although courts disagree over the scope of protection, typically if a whistleblower, is fired, demoted, harassed or discriminated against, he or she may be eligible for reinstatement, back pay and compensation of legal fees. Many states also have wrongful discharge and other employment laws that provide protection to whistleblowers.
Why Should I File a Whistleblower Lawsuit?
Whistleblowers help protect people. Most of us know right from wrong when we see it. A whistleblower takes it a step further and makes sure powerful medical corporations are held accountable. That’s why the rewards for reporting fraud can be so high.
A whistleblower lawsuit is one of the most powerful weapons the government has to fight fraud. That’s why the federal government makes sure people who bring forward evidence of fraud are well compensated for doing the right thing.
How Much of a Reward Could I Expect?
Defendants found liable under the False Claims Act may be forced to pay up to 3 times the amount lost by the government plus penalties on each claim. The amount varies by case, but the whistleblower is entitled to receive a percentage of what’s recovered.
If the government intervenes in the case and recovers money through a trial or a settlement, the whistleblower is eligible to receive 15% to 25% of that money. If the government doesn’t intervene, the whistleblower can still proceed with his or her legal team. In that case, the reward due to the relator is 25% to 30% of the funds recovered.
What Type of Evidence Do I Need?
Extensive documentary evidence helps make a qui tam case stronger. Whistleblowers should document all meetings, conversations, emails, receipts, and other paperwork that could help prove fraudulent activity. They should not, however, steal any documents or obtain them illegally. It’s important to create a record of how all documents were obtained. No detail is too small, including the date, time, and place the conversations about fraud took place. Whistleblowers have a strong case when they can show the inside information they have is from direct contact with the people committing the fraud. The attorneys at Maglio Christopher & Toale, P. A. will help you gather the evidence you need to build a strong case.