Whistleblowers: Beware of Qui Tam Statute of Limitations

In a whistleblower cases against Caremark, Inc., a US District Judge in San Antonio, Texas, relying on a federal case in the Second Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, decided that the statute of limitations is not tolled for the government while it decides whether to intervene.  In other words, if the government takes several years to decide to join a case, it’s complaint in intervention does not relate back to the date of the original complaint filed by the whistleblower.  Why should the whistleblower and the government be penalized? The Court stated that the government should not have taken long to decide whether to intervene, and that Congress did not intend investigations to be protracted. The clear implication: several months is all that is required for a government investigation and evaluation. That is simply contrary to logic and Congressional intent. Congress did not impose any time limits on intervention.  Further, if a Court decides that the government has taken too long, it can deny further extensions of the seal. Do not penalize the whistleblower and the public. The message is clear. At least in the Western District of Texas, if the government is going to investigate and take several years, the whistleblower should implore the government to stay on the sidelines and not intervene.   The case is USA ex rel. Ramadoss v. Caremark, a court in the Western District of Texas, San Antonio.

Posted in Government Intervention, Jurisdictional Issues, Statute of LimitationsNo Comments


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