How Long Does It Take to Pursue a False Claims Act?

An Evansville False Claims Act attorney should advise you that a False Claims action could take a very long time, quite possibly years, to pursue. This is why it is very important that an experienced attorney evaluates your case to determine that your chance of recovery is great enough to make it worth pursuing.

To begin, your case will be filed “under seal,” meaning that it is not made public. Once it is filed, the U.S. Justice Department has sixty days to begin investigating the allegations. Normally the investigations are not completed within this time, and the Justice Department files for an extension to complete its investigation. During this time, possibly the FBI (and others within the federal government) may subpoena documents, interview witnesses, execute search warrants, and engage in other exploratory behavior to investigate the situation. This is done before the Justice Department decides whether or not to intervene into the case. The Justice Department may decide to intervene after the first sixty days, after the extension, or it may request more extensions before deciding. Thus, it is not unusual for a case to be under seal for a year or longer.

If the Justice Department decides to intervene and pursue the case, then it will often first attempt to settle the case with the employer while it is still under seal. If a settlement cannot be reached at that point, then a formal action will be filed and the actual court process begins. Depending upon the circumstances, the court process can last potentially for years. However, if the Justice Department is involved in the matter, the chance of it succeeding is very high.

If the Justice Department declines to intervene, then the whistleblower and his or her Evansville False Claims Act attorney may still decide to pursue legal action. The risks and rewards are higher if the matter is pursued without the Justice department. They may also decide to drop the case at this point.

If the case is successful, the whistleblower can anticipate receiving fifteen to thirty percent of the total amount recovered from the employer. Since the amendment of the act in 1986, over a billion dollars have been paid to whistleblowers.

Contact Lane Siesky, Evansville False Claims Act attorney, at (812) 402-7700 today for a free initial consultation regarding your whistleblower matter.