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June 12, 2017

12 June 2017

Eleventh Circuit Rules That Reasonable Interpretations of Ambiguous Regulations Can Trigger FCA Liability

Noncompliance with ambiguous regulations often presents a weak case for an FCA suit.  A growing number of courts (as discussed here and here) have held that reasonable interpretations of regulations, absent contrary guidance from the government, reflect a mens rea inconsistent with the requisite “knowing” misconduct under the FCA.  However, the Eleventh Circuit recently reached a contrary conclusion, holding that defendants who articulate reasonable interpretations of ambiguous regulations can nonetheless be liable under the FCA.  See United States ex rel. Phalp v. Lincare Holdings, Inc., No. 16-10532 (May 26, 2017). (more…)

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