United States v. Everglades College

Relators filed a qui tam suit against Keiser University under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that the University falsely certified compliance with a federal law banning incentive payments to university admissions counselors. After relators appealed a limited trial victory, the United States stepped in and settled the case with Keiser, securing a larger monetary recovery than relators did at trial. On appeal, relators challenged the district court's ruling as to the United States and the district court's subsequent award of reduced attorneys' fees and costs. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the judgment, holding that the United States did not need to satisfy the good-cause intervention requirement for qui tam actions under 31 U.S.C. 3730(c)(3) because that subsection applies only when the government intervenes for the purpose of actually proceeding with the litigation—not when it is stepping in only for the purpose of settling and ending the case; the proposed settlement was fair, adequate, and reasonable; the district court did not err in declining to compel discovery in this case; and the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding fees and costs. View "United States v. Everglades College" on Justia Law