On Friday, November 3, 2023, Kandis L. Kovalsky joins fellow panelists Taylor Brown, Counsel and Practice Lead at IBM, and Geeta Taylor, Senior Counsel in the Office of Counsel to the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in New Orleans to present, “When Grants Go Bad and False Claims Arise.” Continue reading ›
The front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer’s business section on June 10, 2023, features an article from reporter Joseph N. DiStefano, “Vanguard and former tax lawyer are in mediation over wrongful termination lawsuit,” detailing the status of former Vanguard attorney David Danon’s whistleblower lawsuit against Vanguard. Continue reading ›
On June 1, 2023, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion (authored by Justice Clarence Thomas), providing a long-awaited answer to the question of whether, under the Federal Claims Act (“FCA”), a defendant “knowingly” submits a false claim by reporting its retail cash price as its “usual and customary price” rather than the lower and more-common price offered through discount programs. The Seventh Circuit twice held that such reporting is not a “knowingly” false claim under the FCA because “a reasonable person” could reach a similar interpretation of “usual and customary price.” United States v. Supervalu Inc., 9 F.4th 455 (7th Cir. 2021); United States ex rel. Proctor v. Safeway, Inc., 30 F.4th 649 (7th Cir. 2022). The Supreme Court vacated the Seventh Circuit’s judgments and ruled that the FCA scienter requirement refers to a defendant’s knowledge and subjective beliefs – not to what an objectively reasonable person may have known or believed. United States ex rel. Shutte v. SuperValu Inc., 598 U.S. (2023) The Court also determined that facially ambiguous language is not a sufficient reason to prohibit a finding that a defendant knew its claims were false. Continue reading ›
In a recent Legal Intelligencer article, Phila. Attorneys Reach $9M Settlement for Whistleblower Claims the US Declined, Philadelphia-based litigation reporter Aleeza Furman detailed how Kang Haggerty attorneys secured a $9 million settlement with defendants in a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit over the distribution of illegitimate fentanyl prescriptions. Continue reading ›
Kang Haggerty member Kandis L. Kovalsky will be a presenter for Touhy Subpoena Practice – Getting the Information You Need to Prove (or Disprove) the Case, on behalf of the Qui Tam Section of the Federal Bar Association. The webinar will take place from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EDT on May 10, 2023.
The program will provide varied perspectives from government, relator, and defense counsel on Touhy subpoena practice in declined False Claims Act cases. The conversation will cover the process and procedural elements of Touhy subpoenas, negotiations with the Government, and use of that information in litigation.
Joining Kandis on the panel will be moderator Zachary Arbitman, Feldman Shepherd; Paul Kaufman, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and Amanda B. Robinson, Morgan Lewis.
As the month of March draws to a close, the Whistleblower Advocates of Kang Haggerty LLC were excited to see many of the valued contributions of women whistleblowers recognized as part of Women’s History Month celebrations. We join with many of our Taxpayer Against Fraud (TAF) colleague law firms in commemorating female whistleblowers who courageously transcend systemic biases to combat fraud. Continue reading ›
Kang Haggerty member Kandis L. Kovalsky is asked for her opinion in the March 28, 2023 Law360 analysis by editor Jeff Overley on 6th Circ. Widens FCA Split, Curtails Kickback Law’s Scope.
According to Kovalsky, who represents FCA whistleblowers and is an active member of Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF), “the Sixth Circuit’s decision … has implications far beyond that case itself” and could have “broad, chilling effects on the FCA’s purpose and reach.”
According to Overley, “The Sixth Circuit delivered a one-two punch to whistleblowers and the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday by requiring False Claims Act cases to directly connect kickbacks with health care billing and refusing to view all potentially valuable actions as possible kickbacks.”
Member Edward T. Kang and Associate Ross Wolfe attended the Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Section’s Annual Qui Tam Conference in Washington, DC, from February 16 through February 17. This year’s theme was New Frontiers: Redefining the Landscape of the FCA.
The Qui Tam Section of the Federal Bar Association was started in 2015. It provides education, training, and networking opportunities for attorneys involved with the False Claims Act and other whistleblower statutes. Their award-winning Annual Qui Tam Conference is the section’s premier event. It rallies noteworthy leaders and eminent keynote speakers to foster deep analysis and discussion on contemporary whistleblower-related issues.
Kang Haggerty is pleased to have taken the Taxpayers Against Fraud Penny Pledge to help protect whistleblower laws. The firm is “paying it forward” by pledging to commit a penny for every dollar collected in the practice to help enhance and preserve whistleblower programs into the future.
Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) is a non-profit organization committed to defending and empowering individuals who expose fraud in both governmental and financial markets. TAF focuses on rigorously empowering and protecting whistleblowers and educating and supporting attorneys that represent and advocate for these Whistleblowers.
The Third Circuit has adopted a more plaintiff/relator friendly interpretation while the Eighth Circuit has reached the opposite conclusion. Until the U.S. Supreme Court settles the circuit split, choice of venue is key for those bringing claims under the Anti-Kickback statute.
In the December 1, 2022 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, Edward T. Kang and Kandis Kovalsky wrote “Fighting Fraud in Health Care Through the False Claims Act in the Third Circuit” Continue reading ›