Search  |  Login  |  Register

1308682626000

(Washington, DC) The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled in favor of the American Center for Law and Justices (ACLJ) client in a multi-million dollar fraud case against Planned Parenthood (PP) affiliates in California.  ACLJ attorneys are representing a former employee of the PP affiliate in Los Angeles, who is now a federal whistleblower.  A federal district court in California had dismissed the case, but the Ninth Circuits ruling, dated yesterday, reinstates the lawsuit.

This is a tremendous victory, said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.  While this case is by no means over, winning this appeal means we have gotten the federal claim over the threshold hurdles and can now get down to the heart of this case: the alleged fraud.

The federal False Claims Act (FCA) forbids government contractors from submitting false or fraudulent claims for payment. The FCA also authorizes private individuals to bring suit against the offenders to recover the fraudulently obtained funds.

The allegation in this case is that PP affiliates in California illegally marked up the supposed cost of various birth control drugs when seeking government reimbursement, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of overbilling at taxpayer expense.  State audits in both California and Washington State have found PP affiliates guilty of overbilling.

When a former PP staffer sued the PP affiliates in federal court, charging the defendants with having fraudulently overbilled the state and federal governments in the amount of tens of millions of dollars, a prominent law firm began representing the PP defendants in the case at no cost to the defendants. The PP attorneys asked the federal district court to dismiss the case on technical jurisdictional grounds.

The federal district court accepted their arguments in part, and dismissed the case.  ACLJ attorneys then entered the case to handle the appeal.

The question on appeal was whether the former PP employee is a proper whistleblower under the False Claims Act, said Sekulow. We contended that the answer is Yes, and now a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit has unanimously agreed with us.

The ACLJs opening brief had dissected and refuted the arguments of PPs attorneys point by point, explaining why the court of appeals should reverse the lower courts judgment and reinstate the lawsuit.  You can read the ACLJ opening brief here.

ACLJ attorneys subsequently filed a reply brief and two supplemental briefs addressing intervening developments in the law.

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. 

Latest in
Pro Life

Late-Term Abortion Is Disgraceful

By Carly F. Gammill1431965295788

The 2013 trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the late-term abortionist convicted of murdering babies who were born alive after undergoing abortion procedures, presented the public with graphic descriptions of the abortions, and even photographs of many of those babies. What words might describe such...

read more

Bureaucracy Bullies Adoptive Families

By ACLJ.org1431694800000

Even as orphans in need face overwhelming obstacles, those loving and caring families who wish to provide them the care they so desperately need – to adopt them – are being targeted by an out-of-control federal bureaucracy. The international orphan crisis currently affects over 153 million children...

read more

Now It’s the Senate’s Turn

By Jay Sekulow1431553246396

Today, two years after abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murdering babies born alive after botched abortions , the House of Representatives voted 242-184 to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Thank you for making this happen. You gave voice to the voiceless. You stood up...

read more

Gosnell’s “House of Horrors”

By Olivia Summers1431533011721

Two years ago today , Kermit Gosnell was found guilty on three counts of murder in the first-degree, as well as “hundreds of lesser charges.” Certainly, a trial resulting in a conviction that significant was followed closely by the American media? Not so. Most media outlets barely covered the trial...

read more