Whistleblower and Qui Tam Attorneys in San Diego
We are San Diego attorneys specializing in Whistleblower, or Qui Tam, litigation. The Defense, Finance and Healthcare industries have produced the most San Diego whistleblowers over the years partly due to the regulated nature of the industries. San Diego, for its part, boasts some of the country’s finest companies within the Defense, Finance and Healthcare sectors. Consequently, our attorneys have represented a growing number of whistleblowers and Qui Tam complainants (or relators) in our hometown.
The recent resurgence of False Claims Act (“FCA”), or Qui Tam, lawsuits has brought this historically dormant practice into the national spotlight often producing multi-million dollar judgments and ongoing scrutiny by a public tired of hearing about companies that defraud the government. Due to San Diego’s extensive health care market, the federal FCA and California FCA combine to enable the government to prevent and litigate fraud, waste, and abuse in government healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
California’s FCA is modeled after the federal FCA. In a nutshell, the laws forbid any person who (1) knowingly brings false or fraudulent claims for government payment;
(2) knowingly makes false record or statement to get false or fraudulent claims paid by government;
(3) conspires to defraud the government by getting a false or fraudulent claim paid by the government; or (4) knowingly makes false record or statement to conceal or decrease an obligation to pay the government.
The recent emergence of favorable, and lucrative, results especially in the health care field encourages individuals to expose corporate swindling of government funds and this area is not showing any signs of slowing down. San Diego boasts, and may represent whistleblowers from, some of the country’s finest health care facilities such as UC San Diego Medical Center, Scripps, Kaiser Permanente, Sharp, Alvarado, Palomar Medical Center, Pomerado Hospital, Rady Children’s Hospital and Paradise Valley Hospital.
False Claims Act /Whistleblower Monetary Penalties
Attorneys at Stephen Danz and Associates have assisted California whistleblowers obtain extremely financially-bountiful results. A violation of the FCA may subject a company to substantial penalties of $5,000-11,000 per violation plus triple damages sustained by the government. Typically, the government initiates criminal proceedings first and then continues with civil prosecution. Our attorneys work together with the government each step of the way.
At the core of the FCA is the ability for private persons (aka whistleblowers/qui-tam relators) to file actions on behalf of the government. Then, while the action is under seal for 60 days, the government can choose to intervene either by litigation or settlement, or decline and allow the private lawsuit to proceed. If the government intervenes (preferred), the private person still receives a share (15-25%) of any recoveries. If the government declines to intervene, the private person receives a higher percentage (25-30%) of any recovery. (31 U.S.C. 3730 et seq.) Contact our San Diego whistleblower and qui tam attorneys today for a free analysis of your case.
Top Whistleblower Protection in California
After choosing to blow the whistle and contacting our attorneys, the whistleblower is informed of the anti-retaliation protection afforded in California. Our attorneys not only represent the whistleblower but they also go to bat protecting the whistleblower from any retaliation. Here are some of the most common whistleblower retaliation protections:
Labor Code Section 1102.5 prohibits retaliation against employees who “blow the whistle” by notifying a government agency on, or refusing to participate in, activity that would violate any laws or regulations in the workplace.
Labor Code Section 98.6 prohibits retaliation against employees who file a complaint for labor code violations with the Labor Commissioner or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Labor Code 6399.7 prohibits retaliation against employees for filing a complaint or testifying on occupational safety and health issues.
Government Code Section 12653 et al. prohibits retaliation against employees who report to a government entity any fraudulent or illegitimate billing that were improperly submitted for payment to the government.
Government Code Section 12940(h) prohibits retaliation against employees who oppose discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation.
Within the health care industry, the Health and Safety Code Section 1278.5 prohibits retaliation against patients, physicians, nurses and medical staff who whistleblow to the government or its agencies on patient care issues at a healthcare facility.
California has its own Whistleblower Protection Act at Government Code Sections 8547-8547.12 which specifically protects state employees against retribution from reporting waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law or threat to publish health.
Recent Whistleblower/Qui Tam Case Examples
Spori vs. Confidential Manufacturing Company (Central District of California): aerospace False Claims Act case along with whistleblower claims for retaliation. Approximately $300,000 settlement.
Crawford vs. Sea Crest Nursing Homes. (Southern District of California): Federal False Claim and individual retaliation claim. Confidential settlement following dismissal of FCA.
If you believe that you have a whistleblower or qui tam claim, or experienced retaliation for reporting illegal activity, contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates to discuss your legal options. For a free review of your case, speak to our San Diego whistleblower and qui tam attorneys today by calling us at 877-789-9707.
92101, 92106, 92111
“Mr. Danz and Ms. Porter,Thank you very much for your legal assistance a few weeks back. The problems I was encountering at work were having an extremely adverse affect on every aspect of my daily life. Relationships with my fiancé, friends, and family were growing increasingly tense, and my overall daily outlook was grim as a consequence of not being able to see any viable options to remedy the situation. Your willingness to write, speak over the phone, and meet with me was extremely generous. Furthermore, the way in which you treated my family and I was overwhelming. In a calm, compassionate, and sincere fashion, you were able to explain to us very clearly several meaningful options in which to resolve the conflict I had with my employer. On the drive home from meeting with both of you, I felt for the first time in a long time, a sense of relief and renewed ability to enjoy the moment.
San Diego Whistleblower Attorney