Qui Tam

At our firm, we regularly hear from our Defense Base Act (DBA) clients that they witnessed actions taken by companies working overseas for the U.S. Government that were fraudulent and even inhumane. While you were working overseas did you witness any actions by your employer or another company that was done in order to defraud the government? Did you witness actions by a company that were intended to cheat the employees or the U.S. Government? If so, you may be able to file a Qui Tam lawsuit and receive compensation.

What is a Qui Tam Lawyer?

Qui Tam is short for the Latin phrase, “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur”, which means “who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself.” A Qui Tam lawsuit is a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the Federal False Claims Act. The purpose of a Qui Tam lawsuit is to allow a member of the public or a company to file a lawsuit and present evidence showing that a company or person is defrauding the U.S. Government. The idea is that people should help the government prevent fraud and corruption.

A Qui Tam Lawyer assists you in the process of this lawsuit.

What happens in a Qui Tam case?

When a Qui Tam lawsuit is filed it is filed under seal, i.e. the public and even the accused cannot access the information until the Justice Department has had the opportunity to
review and investigate the claims. After the Justice Department has had the opportunity to review the evidence and the alleged fraud, the Justice Department may choose to prosecute the claim against the offending party or allow the person who filed the lawsuit to continue to prosecute the claims on behalf of the U.S. Government.

Can a person who files a Qui Tam lawsuit receive compensation?

Yes, a person who files a lawsuit that is successful is entitled to compensation for his role. The compensation amount is dependent on the amount that the parties settle the claim for or the amount a Jury or Judge awards in the event the case is tried. The person who brings the claim is awarded a percentage of the settlement/award, dependent on if the Justice Department took over the prosecution of the case or if the person and their counsel prosecute the claims on behalf of the U.S. Government.

How do I File a Qui Tam lawsuit?

In order to file a Qui Tam claim, the person bringing the claim must gather sufficient evidence to support the allegations before bringing the claim; however, they still must act quickly because Qui Tam lawsuits can be dismissed if another individual brought the claim first. As a result, a person intending to file a Qui Tam lawsuit shouldn’t speak to anyone about the allegations or the lawsuit, other than their lawyer, until the Justice Department has made a decision and the lawsuit has been unsealed.

Does a person need a lawyer to file a Qui Tam lawsuit?

A person doesn’t need a lawyer to file a lawsuit, however, employing the services of a lawyer is highly recommended. Qui Tam lawsuits are required to be filed in a Federal Court and Federal Courts have very strict rules regarding proper procedures that must be followed, many accomplished lawyers even avoid practicing in Federal Court because of the additional scrutiny and rules that are required in Federal Courts. As such, you need a lawyer who is experienced in Federal Court and understands the requirements of a Qui Tam lawsuit to assist you and your claim.