When Punishing FCA Seal Violations, Avoid Taxpayer Harm

Law360, New York (December 7, 2016, 10:36 AM EST) -- With Tuesday's 8-0 decision in State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, the U.S. Supreme Court has placed responsibility for penalizing seal violations under the False Claims Act squarely where it belongs: at the "sound discretion" of the district court whose order was broken.

If Congress had wished dismissal to be the mandatory punishment for such violations — as argued by State Farm, defendant in the originating FCA case — "it would have said so," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in a brusque opinion that was issued just five weeks after lopsided oral arguments in the case....

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