Nearly six months after being fired, a former employee of a government contractor brought a False Claims Act anti-retaliation suit against the contractor. The company argued that the action should be dismissed because the statute of limitations had run. In Riddle v. Dynacorp International, Inc., 2010 WL 3304245 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 19, 2010), the court ruled that these suits are limited to a 90-day statute of limitations period in the State of Texas. Thus, the court ruled that the action was time-barred.
In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the drafters of the False Claims Act failed to include a statute of limitations period for FCA anti-retaliation suits. In turn, the Court ruled that the courts must rummage through the state statutes and borrow the statute of limitations period from the most closely analogous state whistleblower statute. This generated a patchwork of statute of limitations periods, with most hovering around 90 days.
Earlier this year, as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform legislation, Congress finally established a uniformed three-year statute of limitations period for all FCA anti-retaliation actions. Unfortunately, courts, such as this one, have ruled that this amendment is not retroactive.
For more information about qui tam law and health care fraud, contact Nolan & Auerbach, P.A.