by Todd J. Canni
Washington Legal Foundation
March 26, 2008
Private plaintiffs’ enforcement of the federal False Claims Act through qui tam actions have proliferated significantly over the past two decades. While such lawsuits have their merits, because of the relaxed pleading standards, a large number of such cases are dismissed or, even if successful, are overturned on appeal. Speculative qui tam suits impose damage on government contractors and the contracting process. In order to reduce the number of baseless suits and the cost of defending against them, the False Claims Act should require that qui tam plaintiffs demonstrate that they had actual, proven knowledge of a fraud committed against the government, and that such allegations are detailed with particularity in the plaintiff’s complaint.

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