Corporate Entity Sometimes Provides Benefits to Whistleblowers

In late September 2014, the Justice Department announced that Enzo Biochem, Inc. and its subsidiary Enzo Clinical Laboratories had agreed to pay over $3.5 million to settle a False Claims Act qui tam action, alleging that they had unlawfully inputted diagnosis codes into forms submitted to CMS. At the time this settlement was announced publicly, the court docket remained under seal; ultimately unsealed, it was revealed that the relator was a Delaware limited liability partnership O and U 2011 Partnership LLP.

Relators who file their qui tam lawsuits in the name of a corporate entity (instead of their individual names), gain a level of anonymity. This might be important to a relator who still works for the employer-defendant. Depending upon the state, it may provide a mechanism for asset distribution that may be beneficial for co-relators.

Few courts have parsed out the possible counter-measures that arise under the False Claims Act, which includes the public disclosure bar’s original source exception imputed to the entire corporation when only one member has the requisite knowledge.

More information for whistleblowers is located at the Nolan Auerbach & White website.