Transforming Tort Liability Into Criminal Liability

Law360, New York (May 28, 2009, 12:00 AM EDT) -- Product manufacturers, suppliers and even users beware — the federal government’s latest and most creative ammunition in its diverse arsenal are two federal statutes that can transform standard tort liability into criminal liability in the blink of an eye: the criminal False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. §1001) and the criminal False Claims Act (18 U.S.C.§287).

Using the statutes, we are seeing the government pursue an aggressive theory that failing to warn about a product’s potential limitations amounts to a “false statement” or “false claim” when the...
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