Law360 Quotes Robert Huffman on SCOTUS Review of 4th Circ. Ruling in KBR FCA Case
Akin Gump litigation partner and government contracts practice head Robert Huffman was quoted by Law360 for its article “High Court Could Rein In Old FCA Claims With KBR Case” on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review U.S. ex rel. Carter v. Halliburton. The 4th Circuit’s ruling in this case held that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act applied even in whistleblower suits that do not involve war contracts or in which the federal government declines to intervene. The article notes that contractors fear this leaves them vulnerable to civil and criminal fraud cases indefinitely.
Huffman noted that, as claims age, they become harder to defend due to increasing scarcity of documents and key witnesses, adding, “Allowing the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act to apply to nonintervened qui tams, let alone any civil False Claims Act case, would subject contractors to very stale claims and all the problems that go along with defending against very stale claims.”
He also said that, whatever the Court’s decision in Carter, it will be an improvement on the 4th Circuit’s ruling: “This is a great opportunity from the point of view of my clients and the industry to get some certainty and some correction of what I think would be a disastrous precedent. The Supreme Court could go narrow or it could go very broad, but I think either way it's going to be very beneficial to contractors.”
To read about Huffman’s view on the Justice Department’s opposition to the Court’s review of this case, please click here.