Robert Salcido Quoted by Bloomberg BNA on Supreme Court Decision in FCA Case
Bloomberg BNA’s Fraud and Abuse Report has quoted Akin Gump health partner Robert Salcido in the article “High Court Rejects Automatic Dismissal of Fraud Claims for Seal Violation.” The article addresses a recent unanimous Supreme Court ruling that said that a whistle-blower’s violation of the False Claims Act (FCA)’s seal provision does not require automatic dismissal of the case.
The decision, according to the article, gives federal trial courts discretion over what sanctions they can impose for seal violations, the act of releasing information about a case in violation of a court’s order. In the case in question, State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, the trial court had determined that media disclosures concerning the lawsuit’s allegations should not prevent the whistle-blowers from receiving their fair share of a recovery for State Farm’s submission of false claims following Hurricane Katrina.
Salcido said the court’s policy concern about dismissals harming the government “appears mistaken” because the government can always intervene and proceed with an action regardless of the whistle-blower’s dismissal. He added that “to the extent the court expressly stated that a district court may order dismissal in appropriate cases, the FCA’s seal provision will still have sufficient teeth to ensure that relators do not recklessly abuse the FCA’s seal provision to the government's and defendant's detriment.”