Justia Government Contracts Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
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Plaintiff filed a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA), alleging that Planned Parenthood violated Iowa law by dispensing extra cycles of oral contraceptives without a physician’s order and that Planned Parenthood illegally billed Iowa Medicaid Enterprise (IME) for post-abortion related procedures.The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Planned Parenthood, concluding that plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead with particularity, pursuant to the heightened pleading standards of the FCA, her claim regarding the dispensing of oral contraceptives. Furthermore, even if plaintiff is right that Planned Parenthood submitted a false claim or statement as to Patients C, D, E and F, she fails to show that there is a genuine issue of material fact over whether those claims and statements were knowingly false. View "Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc." on Justia Law

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AGRED filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment regarding its rights and obligations under a written agreement with the United States. The Corps, acting on behalf of the United States, moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the grounds that AGRED lacks standing.The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of AGRED's declaratory judgment claim based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction and agreed with the district court that AGRED's injury was not caused by the Corps. In this case, AGRED failed to establish a connection between its injury of being enjoined from charging fees for access a lake plaintiff owns and the Corps' conduct. The court explained that there are several kinks in AGRED's causal chain, including that AGRED's injury results directly from FOLEA's thus far successful lawsuit. In this case, there is no real contractual dispute between AGRED and the Corps. Therefore, AGRED fails to meet the causation requirement for standing because it cannot show that its injury is fairly traceable to the Corps. View "Agred Foundation v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers" on Justia Law

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Dunbar, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), was awarded an Army Corps of Engineers ditch and tributary project in Arkansas. Dunbar then hired a subcontractor, Harding Enterprises, to work on the project. After Harding Enterprises defaulted, Dunbar made a demand on the bond guaranteed by Hanover, which Hanover denied. Hanover then filed suit seeking a declaration that it had no obligations under the bond and seeking to have the bond rescinded based on illegality of the subcontract.The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Hanover, holding that the district court erroneously concluded that the subcontract was undisputedly in violation of 13 C.F.R. 125.6(b)(2) because the percentage that Dunbar spent on contract performance relative to the prime contract price could not be conclusively ascertained until conclusion of performance of the prime contract. The court also held that the potential that Hanover may have liability under the False Claims Act if it were to perform under the bond does not justify discharging Hanover from its obligations and rescinding the contract. View "Hanover Insurance Co. v. Dunbar Mechanical Contractors, LLC" on Justia Law

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Relator filed a qui tam action against Trinity, alleging that Trinity violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by knowingly presenting a false or fraudulent claim to the government, making a false statement material to a false or fraudulent claim, and retaliating against him.The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of Trinity's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, holding that the complaint failed to allege with particularity that defendant presented a false or fraudulent claim to the government or that it had made, used or caused to be used a false record or statement. In this case, relator's general allegations that Trinity's compensation scheme most likely resulted in the presentment of claims for payment or approval are insufficient; while there is no "presentment" requirement for a 31 U.S.C. 3729(a)(1)(B) claim, the plaintiff must plead a connection between the alleged fraud and the actual claim made payable to the government; because relator failed to allege with particularity that Trinity submitted a claim for payment to the government, he cannot establish that Trinity's allegedly false statements were "material" to any claim that was actually submitted; and relator's allegations are insufficient to establish that Trinity knew he was engaged in a protected activity. View "United States ex rel. Benaissa v. Trinity Health" on Justia Law

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Relators filed a quit am action against the Hospital for violations of the False Claims Act. Relators also filed suit against the Hospital and its CEO, alleging violation of the Act's anti-retaliation provision. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of the Hospital's motion to dismiss all counts of the complaint and grant of summary judgment as to the retaliation claim. The court held that the complaint alleged a fraudulent scheme without representative examples with the required specificity. Furthermore, the complaint lacked the sufficient indicia of reliability leading to a strong inference that claims were actually submitted.The court also held that claims alleging that defendants made false records or statements were properly dismissed because they failed to connect the false records or statements to any claim made to the government; claims that the Hospital conspired to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute were properly dismissed because the complaint did not include any details about an agreement and relators failed to plead the conspiracy with particularity; claims against the CEO were properly dismissed because the Act did not impose individual liability; and the district court properly granted summary judgment for the Hospital on the remaining claims. View "United States ex rel. Strubbe v. Crawford County Memorial Hospital" on Justia Law

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As long as the relator had direct knowledge of the true state of the facts, she can be an original source even though her knowledge of the misrepresentation was not first-hand. In this case, the Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of relator's qui tam action under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733. The district court reasoned that information underlying relator's allegations had been previously disclosed. The court held that the district court misapplied circuit precedent on the meaning of "original source" because relator did not have to have direct and independent knowledge of Bayer's allegedly false communications to the Department of Defense. The district court did not reach other arguments raised by Bayer. Therefore, the court remanded for the district court to address these matters in the first instance. View "Simpson v. Bayer Healthcare" on Justia Law