June 18, 2018

Jesse Witten Discusses the Impact of Escobar on False Claims Act Litigation

Washington, D.C. partner Jesse Witten commented in Law360 on the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision two years ago in Universal Health Services v. Escobar, a case which addressed how courts should gauge whether certain regulatory violations were material to government reimbursement. He is quoted in the article, “Attorneys Reflect on Escobar's FCA Impact 2 Years Later.”

Jesse noted that: “Attorneys Reflect on Escobar's FCA Impact 2 Years LaterEscobar has been a very powerful case for defendants. In two cases decided in the past 10 months — Harman v. Trinity Industries and Ruckh v. Salus Rehabilitation — the courts overturned a total of $1 billion in jury verdicts as a result of Escobar. Escobar has also been very powerful at the summary judgment stage. Courts now require relators to introduce evidence that the defendant's alleged regulatory violation or false statements actually was material to the government's payment decision. Relators who lack such evidence will lose at summary judgment. An issue that remains to be ironed out is what a complaint must allege to survive a motion to dismiss alleging lack of materiality under Escobar.”

Read “Attorneys Reflect on Escobar's FCA Impact 2 Years Later.”

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