West Virginia False Claims Act Dies In House

A proposed bill creating West Virginia's version of the federal False Claims Act did not pass in the House of Delegates.

The bill would have allowed whistle-blowers to bring lawsuits in West Virginia courts against businesses alleged to have submitted false claims for reimbursement to state and federal programs. It also would have given West Virginia a law compatible with the federal False Claims Act, which would entitle West Virginia to a greater percentage of multi-state recoveries, according to a West Virginia Record report

The bill would have provided whistle-blowers with up to 25 percent of the recovery that resulted from the lawsuits they filed. Much like the federal government does with federal False Claims Act claims, after their lawsuits were filed under seal, the Attorney General's Office would have had the option to review them and decide if it wanted to join.

The proceeds that were left from the West Virginia False Claims Act claims would have went towards secondary roads and volunteer fire departments within the state. House Judiciary Chairman Tim Manchin proposed the bill and said that it had the potential to return up to $90 million a year to taxpayers.

After more than an hour of debate, the bill was rejected in a 55-42 vote, according to the report. Of the nine sponsors of the bill, all were democrats.

More Articles on False Claims Act:

Case Expanding False Claims Act Exposure May Be Reviewed by Supreme Court
Just Before Trial Begins, Halifax Health Settles First Part of Fraud Case
EndoGastric Solutions Reaches $5M Settlement for Alleged Fraud

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