1st-To-File Rule Sinks Verizon FCA Suit, DC Circ. Told

Law360, New York (August 21, 2013, 1:27 PM EDT) -- Reviving a copycat qui tam suit over Verizon Communications Inc.'s alleged government contract overbilling would create unintended carve-outs to the first-to-file bar for serial relators and follow-on cases when the original suit is disposed, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told a federal appeals court Monday.

Relator Stephen M. Shea, a telecommunications consultant who brought two similar lawsuits over Verizon's alleged overbilling, had argued that his second suit should be allowed to clear the False Claims Act's "first-to-file" hurdle, which prohibits anyone except the government from bringing...
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