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Peter Henner

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The Federal False Claims Act (commonly known as the "Qui Tam" statute) is an effective tool to: 1) protect the public purse, 2) to enable individuals with knowledge of corporate misconduct to profit from their knowledge, and 3) to promote good public policy. This law was first enacted in 1863 to encourage people to come forward with information about military contractors who were defrauding the Union Army during the Civil War, and has continued to function to protect the federal government from corrupt contractors.  Peter has brought lawsuits under this statute on behalf of individual plaintiffs (known as “relators”), and is always looking for opportunities to bring such suits.
In the last twenty years, Qui Tam litigation has been an effective means for whistle blowers to hold large military contractors responsible for defrauding the federal government.  Many, but not all, Qui Tam "relators", are employees or former employees who have been wrongfully treated by the company.  Such individuals can recover between 15 and 30 percent of the money recovered by the federal government in a Qui Tam litigation, plus attorneys' fees.  Because such lawsuits can be very profitable for the relator, many attorneys, including Peter, frequently handle these cases on a pure contingency basis.

Such lawsuits are also an important tool to ensure compliance with federal policy.  For example, Peter successfully litigated a case against the Fulton Montgomery Schoharie Private Industry Council, a federally funded job development agency. The Council had been utilizing federal funds to oppose the union organizing effort by its employees, in violation of a legal requirement that it should not either oppose or promote union organizing. The Council was required to pay a significant financial penalty to the federal government, and was required to agree to cease its illegal activities.
More than half of the Qui Tam cases that have been brought in the last few years have involved Medicare or Medicaid fraud.  From 2002 to 2004, Peter litigated a case against a nursing home on behalf of a former executive employee, alleging that the nursing home overpaid for food services by awarding a no-bid contract to a favored grocery chain.  From 2009 to 2011, he litigated a case against a national organization of dialysis clinics on behalf of a Registered Nurse who became aware of serious patient safety issues.

© 2011 Law office of Peter Henner