Whistleblowers' FOIA Info: Going Down

Law360, New York (May 20, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT) -- Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a 5-3 ruling that whistleblowers cannot rely on documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act when bringing qui tam actions under the False Claims Act.

The court decided in Schindler Elevator Corp. v. United States ex rel. Kirk that documents obtained through FOIA requests are government “report[s],” which are “public disclosures” under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A) and therefore are an improper basis for a whistleblower’s FCA action. The decision resolved a circuit split regarding the type of documents...
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