A federal district court recently denied defendant’s motion to dismiss a false claims act lawsuit, concluding that the realtor had alleged a sufficiently detailed factual basis for the claims and provided representative examples of the alleged false claims. The complaint, filed by a nurse anesthesiologist, alleged that the defendant had violated (and was continuing to violate) the false claims act by indicating on a form that “medical direction” was provided at the time of the anesthesia services regardless of whether one of the defendant’s anesthesiologists prescribed the anesthesia and was present. This form was then used by defendant’s billing office to prepare and submit payment requests.
In denying the motion to dismiss the false claims act complaint, the court generally noted that the realtor’s allegations were sufficiently specific to allow defendant to identify the instances provided as examples and respond to the allegations. The court also observed that the examples alleged by realtor included details that only a person with personal knowledge of the events would know. Finally, the court actually summarized the facts alleged by realtor that satisfied the who, what, when, where, and how necessary to survive a motion to dismiss a false claims act lawsuit.
In its decision, the court distinguished an earlier false claims act lawsuit involving similar allegations that was dismissed for failure to meet specificity requirements thereby providing practitioners with slightly more refined guidance as to the nature and specificity of allegations required for a false claims act lawsuit.
For questions regarding the false claims act please contact Greg Montgomery.