Justia U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Government Contracts
M.E.S., Inc. v. Safeco Insurance Co. of America
The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's summary judgment dismissal of all claims in the Second Amended Complaint against defendants in an action stemming from construction projects with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The court held that MES's claims failed to articulate any support for its accusations that Safeco breached its contractual obligations or engaged in bad faith or tortious conduct. The court noted that the claim that Safeco acted inappropriately by attending the cure meetings was particularly frivolous. In this case, MES failed to identify any good faith basis, in law or on the basis of the agreements at issue, for its assertion that Safeco had no right to take steps to meet its obligations under the surety bonds. The court sua sponte awarded Safeco double costs. View "M.E.S., Inc. v. Safeco Insurance Co. of America" on Justia Law
United States ex rel. Wood v. Allergan, Inc.
A violation of the False Claims Act's (FCA) first‐to‐file bar cannot be remedied by amending or supplementing the complaint. Relator filed a qui tam action against Allergan, alleging that the pharmaceutical company violated the FCA through a kickback scheme. The Second Circuit reversed and remanded with instructions for the district court to dismiss relator's Third Amended Complaint without prejudice. In this case, relator was not the first relator to sue Allergan under the FCA based on the alleged kickback scheme. View "United States ex rel. Wood v. Allergan, Inc." on Justia Law
Posted in: Government Contracts
Fabula v. American Medical Response, Inc.
Plaintiffs Chorches and Fabula filed a qui taim suit under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq., against AMR, alleging that AMR made false statements and submitted false Medicare and Medicaid claims. Plaintiff Fabula also alleged a retaliation claim. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's dismissal of the claims and held that Chorches has pled the submission of false claims with sufficient particularity under Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b), as applied in the qui tam context, and that Fabula's refusal to falsify a patient report, under the circumstances of this case, qualified as protected activity. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Fabula v. American Medical Response, Inc." on Justia Law
United States ex rel. v. Exelis, Inc.
Plaintiff, a former employee of Power Solutions, filed suit under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq., alleging that Power Solutions and others made fraudulent representations to the United States in connection with certain equipment supplied to the government pursuant to a procurement contract. The court dismissed the Substitute Second Amended Complaint (SSAC) in part pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), ruling that plaintiff had released his claims against Power Solutions and its parent corporation and thus lacked standing to bring claims against them, and in part pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) on the ground that the fraud claims were not pleaded with the requisite particularity. The court concluded that, although the right to bring a qui tam suit can be released when the government has knowledge of the relator's fraud allegations, the court did not endorse the district court's conclusion that the government had such knowledge in this case. The court affirmed the dismissal of the action against Power Solutions and Exelis for failure to allege fraud with the requisite particularity where the SSAC did not contain plausible allegations of fact that showed, as required for FCA purposes, that any claim for payment submitted by Power Solutions, ITT, or Exelis was false or that any of the devices delivered to the government failed to meet contract specifications. Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying leave to amend. View "United States ex rel. v. Exelis, Inc." on Justia Law
Posted in: Government Contracts
United States ex rel. Keshner v. Nursing Personnel Home Care
Nursing Personnel appealed the district court's partial judgment awarding plaintiff $185,962.12 in attorneys' fees under the attorneys' fees provision of the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3730(d)(1). Nursing Personnel filed the appeal to challenge time entries in plaintiff's fee petition. The court held that Nursing Personnel waived its challenge to the time entries by failing to raise this objection before the district court. Accordingly, the court affirmed and remanded for the limited purpose of awarding plaintiff appellate attorneys' fees. View "United States ex rel. Keshner v. Nursing Personnel Home Care" on Justia Law
United States v. DHL Express (USA), Inc.
Plaintiffs filed a qui tam action against DHL under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq., alleging that DHL billed the United States jet-fuel surcharges on shipments that were transported exclusively by ground transportation. On appeal, plaintiffs challenged the district court's dismissal for failure to satisfy a statutory notice requirement. The court concluded that the 180-day rule, which barred a challenge to a shipping charge before the STB, could not apply to a qui tam action under the FCA. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded. View "United States v. DHL Express (USA), Inc." on Justia Law
Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee v. Shumlin
Entergy, owner and operator of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, filed suit against Vermont, raising claims challenging Vermont statutes governing Vermont Yankee (Acts 74, 160, and 189) and other claims related to Vermont's attempt to condition its grant of permission to operate Vermont Yankee on the execution of a power purchase agreement that favored Vermont retail consumers. The court affirmed the district court's grant of declaratory judgment that Act 74 and Act 160 were facially preempted by the Atomic Energy Act, 42 U.S.C. 2011-2281; reversed the district court's determination that Vermont's efforts to condition a new Certificate of Public Good for Vermont Yankee on the execution of a favorable power purchase agreement violated the dormant Commerce Clause; affirmed the district court's determination that Entergy's challenge under the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791-828c, was unripe; affirmed the district court's grant of a permanent injunction enjoining defendants from enforcing sections 6522(c)(2) or 6522(c)(4) in title 10 of the Vermont Statutes, as enacted by Act 74, or sections 248(e)(2), 248(m), or 254 in title 30 of the Vermont Statutes, as enacted by Act 160; and vacated the district court's permanent injunction enjoining defendants from conditioning the issuance of a Certificate of Public Good on the execution of a below-wholesale-market power purchase agreement between Entergy and Vermont utilities or otherwise requiring Vermont Yankee to sell power to Vermont utilities at preferential rates. View "Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee v. Shumlin" on Justia Law
Posted in: Constitutional Law, Energy, Oil & Gas Law, Government Contracts, U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Utilities Law
Fahs Construction Group, Inc. v. Gray
Fahs, a general contractor, filed suit against defendant, a construction supervisor with DOT, alleging First Amendment and Equal Protection claims. On appeal, Fahs challenged the district court dismissal of its claims. The court affirmed the dismissal of the First Amendment claim where Fahs's speech was not on a matter of public concern but rather on matters of purely personal significance, and affirmed the dismissal of the Equal Protection claim where the only differential treatment alleged in the complaint took place outside the limitations period. The court considered Fahs's remaining arguments and found them unpersuasive. View "Fahs Construction Group, Inc. v. Gray" on Justia Law
Posted in: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Government Contracts, U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
United States v. Westchester County, New York
The County appealed from a judgment of the district court finding that the County was in violation of its duty to promote source-of-income legislation under a Stipulation and Order of Settlement and Dismissal (consent decree) entered into by the County with the United States to resolve a qui tam action initially brought by relator, ADC, under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729-33, alleging the submission of false claims by the County to HUD in order to obtain federal grant monies for fair housing. As a preliminary matter, the court held that the district court had jurisdiction to review the decision of the reviewing magistrate judge under the consent decree. On the merits, the court held that the County violated the terms of the consent decree. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "United States v. Westchester County, New York" on Justia Law
Posted in: Government & Administrative Law, Government Contracts, Public Benefits, Real Estate & Property Law, U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
Selevan, et al. v. New York Thruway Authority, et al.
Plaintiffs are motorists who use the Grand Island Bridge but, because they are not residents of Grand Island, did not qualify for the lowest toll rate. Plaintiffs sought a judgment declaring that the toll discount policies violated the dormant Commerce Clause as well as the constitutional right to travel that courts have located in the Privileges and Immunities and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, both in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983. On appeal, plaintiffs challenged the November 28, 2011 Memorandum Decision and Order of the district court, among other things, that granted judgment in favor of defendants. The court held that plaintiffs have standing under Article III, the toll policy at issue was a minor restriction on travel and did not involve "invidious distinctions" that would require strict scrutiny analysis pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment; the district court correctly used, in the alternative, the three-part test set forth in Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. County of Kent, to evaluate both plaintiffs' right-to-travel and dormant Commerce Clause claims; and the Grand Island Bridge toll scheme was based on "some fair approximation of use" of the bridges; was not "excessive in relation to the benefits" it conferred; and did not "discriminate against interstate commerce." Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Selevan, et al. v. New York Thruway Authority, et al." on Justia Law
Posted in: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Government Contracts, U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Zoning, Planning & Land Use