False Claims Act cases tend to be complicated and, in some cases, can take years to resolve. A False Claims Act starts with a confidential disclosure of all evidence to the government and the filing of a sealed complaint. The complaint remains under seal for at least 6 months while the government investigates the claim. The government, however, routinely asks the Court to extend the seal and the initial investigation can last for years depending on the needs of the investigation.
Once the court lifts the seal, whistleblowers can expect the defendant to vigorously defend the case given the significant damages and penalties resulting from False Claims Act liability. So with motions practice, discovery, and the many challenges associated with complex litigation, this phase too could last for several years. The whistleblower’s personal involvement will vary depending on whether the government intervenes and other factors. But, in any event, a whistleblower should have an experienced and knowledgeable False Claims Act attorney from FGBO by their side to guide them through the process.