The U.S. Chamber filed a joint amicus brief with the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Tort Reform Association urging the Fifth Circuit to overturn a district court decision that deviated from the settled understanding of the meaning of “false claim,” leading to uncertainty for business.
The brief explains that the False Claims Act (“FCA”) targets only knowingly “false” or “fraudulent” claims for payment from the federal government, and any false statements must be material to such a scheme, an understanding based on the Fifth Circuit’s precedent as well as the FCA’s text, history, and purpose. As a result, the brief argues that because the federal government has authoritatively confirmed the defendant’s compliance, the company’s claims cannot be knowingly “false” or “fraudulent” under the FCA. The brief further explains that the district court’s contrary decision creates an unstable, unpredictable regulatory environment in which businesses cannot rely on even express statements by the federal government to ensure compliance with applicable federal requirements.
Neal Kumar Katyal, Frederick Liu, and Daniel J.T. Schuker of Hogan Lovells served as counsel for the amici.