What is Qui Tam?

Qui tam” cases are lawsuits brought by whistleblowers to enforce the federal False Claims Act or analogous state statutes, laws that impose civil liability on persons or companies who knowingly make or cause others to make false claims for the payment of government funds. The whistleblower who brings the case is called the “relator.” If the lawsuit is successful, the government can recover three times its damages plus civil penalties from the defendant, and the relator can recover a significant percentage of the government’s recovery as a reward for initiating the lawsuit. The term “qui tam” comes from the Latin phrase “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur,” which means, “he who sues for the king as well as himself.”

The links below include the text of the federal False Claims Act, legislative materials on the 2009 Amendments to the False Claims Act, and guidance issued by the Department of Justice.

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