NAMIC is aggressively battling the latest attack on business from the trial bar, which is behind the proposed legislation to amend the Federal False Claims Act. NAMIC issued an Action Alert yesterday, urging members to help defeat this unnecessary and costly legislation. The association is also lobbying members of Congress about this misguided legislation.
This Act provides an incentive to federal whistleblowers to bring cases alleging false claims in federal contracts by granting whistleblowers part of any award or settlement amount, plus attorneys’ fees. NAMIC supports the laudable purposes of the Act but strongly opposes the amendments that it believes would imbalance the existing law in favor of unwarranted suits and attorneys’ fees.
The bill, S. 2041, the False Claims Act Correction Act of 2007, proposed by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, would extend the FCA’s reach beyond federal programs and remove important legal defenses to federal FCA claims, thereby significantly raising companies’ cost of doing business with the federal government and those that insure that business. It would likely lead to unjustified and unnecessary litigation, which would only serve to fatten the trial bar’s coffers.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider the legislation on Thursday.
Specifically, the legislation would make any person who knowingly presents a false or fraudulent claim for government money or property for payment or approval liable for a civil penalty. Key provisions of the legislation would:
Direct questions to NAMIC’s Senior Federal Affairs Director Marliss McManus.