American Journal of Law & Medicine

Fraud and abuse: qui tam relators need attorney general consent to settle lawsuits - Doyle v. Health Possibilities.

Fraud and Abuse: Qui Tam Relators Need Attorney General Consent to Settle Lawsuits--Doyle v. Health Possibilities(1)--The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated and remanded the decision of the district court in favor of the United States' objection to a settlement of a claim brought under the False Claims Act (FCA).(2) The Sixth Circuit held that "a relator may not seek voluntary dismissal of any qui tam action without the Attorney General's consent."(3)

Plaintiffs, Dr. John and Mariann Doyle, filed suit against defendant, Health Possibilities, alleging a state law cause of action for defamation and a federal cause of action under the qui tam provisions of the FCA. The qui tam provisions of the FCA allow a private party, called a relator, to recover damages for fraud committed against the United States. Under section 3730(b), after the relator files suit, the United States has sixty days to investigate the claim and determine whether it wants to intervene. …

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