MDFL judge rules against punitive damages for alleged False Claims Act retaliation

by Ben Vernia | March 14th, 2013

On March 11, in Leggins v. Orlando Housing Authority, Middle District of Florida Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr., granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss a former employee’s claims for punitive damages for the defendant’s alleged violation of the False Claims Act’s anti-retaliation provision, 31 USC 3730(h). Judge Dalton reasoned that Congress’s specificity of remedies – reinstatement, double damages, and attorney’s fees and expenses, the fact that other sections of the FCA provided for punitive damages (but the anti-retaliation provision did not), and the legislative history of the FCA all rebutted the availability of punitive damages.

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