Two former employees of the Momence Meadows Nursing Center (MMNC) filed a qui tam action against the nursing home pursuant to the False Claims Act. The relators claimed, among other things, that the care provided by MMNC was so substandard that it was worthless, thus triggering FCA liability. (DOJ filed a statement of interest backing this use of the FCA.)
MMNC filed a summary judgment motion, arguing that the relators’ claim for worthless services should be dismissed. The nursing home argued that it provided “substandard” services, which should be distinguished from not providing any services at all.
The court disagreed and determined that providing substandard services can sometimes blur the line into providing worthless services. With this decision, the court stressed that defendants cannot sidestep FCA liability by simply arguing that they provided some care, albeit woefully substandard.
More information for whistleblowers is located at the Nolan Auerbach website.