Recently, someone reached out to us to try to figure out what happened in a matter in which she blew the whistle. She said that she had contacted and met with an attorney at the time she blew the whistle. She suffered an accident soon thereafter, which affected her memory. Fast forward 3 years, and she saw something online about a whistleblower settlement for the same conduct that she had reported 3 years prior. Yet, she had no idea of whether she had any interest in the settlement proceeds as a whistleblower. The difficult answer is no. She was not named in the whistleblower complaint that the court unsealed after the settlement. It is unclear whether the lawyer she consulted took action on her behalf, proceeded with a claim based on her knowledge without including her, or not at all.
To bring a qui tam acton, the statute mandates a whistleblower have an attorney. As frequenlty stated on this site, the complex nature, both technical and factual, of cases under the False Claims Act, require trusted and experienced legal counsel. Each step of the evaluation and prosecution of these cases contains minefields which counsel must negotiate. If you have a potential whistleblower case, we strongly recommend you contact exeperienced whistleblower counsel.