Supreme Court decision in Eisenstein case claims a victim in 9th Circuit

by Ben Vernia | February 8th, 2010

When the Supreme Court decided last year, in US ex rel. Eisenstein v. City of New York, that False Claims Act whistleblowers could not benefit from the extended notice-of-appeal deadline under the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure for cases in which the US is a party, it recognized that its decision could have “harsh consequences” for relators who had failed to timely file the notice of appeal.

The result was especially harsh for the relator in US ex rel. Haight v. Catholic Healthcare West, who had relied on prior 9th Circuit precedent that provided her an extra month to file her notice of appeal. The 9th Circuit ruled in her case, however, that it was obliged to follow Eisenstein, and it dismissed her appeal of the District Court’s decision, which had dismissed her case on the grounds that she had failed to produce evidence that the defendant’s statements (in a grant application for brain cancer research on beagle dogs) were objectively false.

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