Category

Sampling

30 July 2015

Briefs Filed Opposing Fourth Circuit Review of Statistical Sampling on Interlocutory Appeal

As we previously reported here, a district court in South Carolina recently certified to the Fourth Circuit two questions for interlocutory appeal: 1) whether courts can review and reconsider the government’s rejection of a settlement in a non-intervened qui tam suit, and 2) whether and when statistical sampling can be used to prove liability and damages in FCA actions.  Both the government (which did not intervene in this case, but which has opposed settlement) and the defendant hospice chain, Agape, recently filed briefs urging the Fourth Circuit to pass on the statistical sampling question.  The government also argued that the Fourth Circuit should adopt the majority rule recognizing the government as having unfettered veto authority.

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06 July 2015

District Court Refuses to Reconsider Bifurcation of Trial between Proof of Falsity and Other FCA Elements

Posted by Kristin Graham Koehler, Monica Groat, and Marina Romani (Summer Associate)

As we have previously discussed on this blog, a court in the Northern District of Alabama last month granted AseraCare’s motion to bifurcate its trial. On June 25, 2015, the court refused the Government’s request to reconsider that decision.

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29 June 2015

District Court Certifies for Interlocutory Appeal Questions on Statistical Sampling and the Government’s Veto Authority Over Dismissal

Posted by Kristin Graham Koehler, Scott Stein, Brenna Jenny

A judge in the District of South Carolina has invited the Fourth Circuit to become the first appellate court to rule on when statistical sampling can appropriately be used to establish FCA liability. The district court also certified for interlocutory appeal the question of whether the Attorney General’s decision in a non-intervened qui tam suit to reject a proposed settlement is subject to judicial review, an issue on which the circuit courts are split. See United States ex rel. Michaels v. Agape Senior Cmty., Inc., No. 12-3466 (D.S.C. June 25, 2015). Both issues became intertwined in this case when the government rejected a $2.5 million settlement agreed to by the defendants and the relator, citing its own extrapolated calculations (based on an undisclosed statistical sampling) as the basis for concluding that damages to the government were $25 million, and that the settlement was therefore inadequate. The resolution of these questions has the potential to significantly impact bargaining dynamics when investigating and negotiating resolutions to qui tam suits.

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29 May 2015

Over Government’s Objection, District Court Permits Bifurcation of Trial Between Proof of Falsity and Other FCA Elements

Posted by Scott Stein and Brenna Jenny

A court in the Northern District of Alabama recently granted defendant AseraCare’s motion to bifurcate its trial, limiting the government in the first phase to proving the element of falsity as to its sample of claims.

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