As you know, we're engaged in a critically important case against Planned Parenthood - a multi-million dollar fraud case against PP affiliates in California. And, now, we have just filed our reply brief in the case with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
We represent a former employee of the PP affiliate in Los Angeles, who is now a federal whistleblower. The case had been dismissed by a federal district court, but we're asking the appeals court to reinstate the lawsuit.
In the spotlight here is the federal False Claims Act (FCA) - which 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 fact is that The False Claims Act provides an important weapon in rectifying illegal runs on taxpayer dollars.
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.
This is a very important case with serious ramifications. We became involved in this case in the appeals process - after a federal district court dismissed the initial case brought by the former PP staffer who charged the PP affiliates with fraudulently overbilling the state and federal governments in the amount of tens of millions of dollars. We believe the federal appeals court should reverse that decision and reinstate the lawsuit.
We have now filed several briefs in the case. Our opening brief was filed in July and it is posted here. Our most recent filing, our reply brief, is posted here. In that brief we counter arguments that the PP affiliates made in their own brief on appeal. In particular, the ACLJ brief takes Planned Parenthood to task for misrepresenting the record in the case and for improperly trying to inject new materials into the case on appeal.
The fact is that this is a very complicated and highly technical area of the law. There's no way an ordinary citizen, no matter how just the claim or how egregious the fraud, could afford to take on a prominent law firm that's representing the PP affiliates in a complex area of the law like this. Were very pleased to be involved in this case and provide the high-powered analysis a case like this calls for.
This is a case that is certain to generate a lot of attention and one that will be watched closely.
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