Golden Gate University Law Review


Cem Kaner Ph.D.


In Wang ex rel. The United States v. FMC Corp. the Ninth Circuit held that a private individual (a qui tam plaintiff) cannot base a suit on behalf of the government under the False Claims Act on publicly known information unless she played a role in making the allegations public. In doing so, the court affirmed dismissal of a suit brought by an engineer who had direct and independent knowledge of the information underlying the allegations. The court stated that "[q]ui tam suits are meant to encourage insiders privy to a fraud on the government to blow the whistle on the crime. In such a scheme, there is little point in rewarding a second toot." The Ninth Circuit's holding is controversial. The False Claims Amendments Act of 1992, passed by the House in August, 1992, is incompatible with it. This note considers Wang in the light of prior and pending legislation.

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