Second Circuit affirms dismissal of False Claims Act retaliation claims by former Pfizer exec

by Ben Vernia | November 23rd, 2010

On November 17, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in a brief unpublished decision in Rost v. Pfizer, affirmed the Southern District of New York’s dismissal of former Pfizer executive Peter Rost’s claims that the company violated the False Claims Act by retaliating against him. The court agreed with the district court that the executive (who also sued the company in a qui tam suit) had failed to establish a prima facie case that the adverse employment actions he experienced were causally related to his qui tam case.

The court reversed the district court’s dismissal of his claims under a New Jersey statute, concluding that the court below had misread the state law. It nevertheless noted that in the absence of a False Claims Act count, the federal district court may lack diversity jurisdiction over the remaining state law claim.

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