Articles Posted in Government Contracts

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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MES claimed that the Corps unfairly terminated three of its construction/renovation contracts. On appeal, MES and its President contended that the district court erred as a matter of law in ruling that their Bivens action was precluded by the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (CDA), 41 U.S.C. 7101 et seq. The court held as a preliminary matter that it lacked jurisdiction to review MES's President's claim because the text and caption of the original timely notice of appeal failed to identify MES's President as a party appealing from the judgment. Accordingly, the court dismissed MES's President's appeal and only address MES's challenge to the judgment of dismissal. The court concluded that, in enacting the CDA, Congress created a comprehensive scheme for securing relief from the United States for any disputes pertaining to federal courts. The existence of that statutory scheme precluded MES from pursuing Bivens claims against federal employees in their individual capacities for alleged violations of due process or the First Amendment in terminating MES's federal construction contracts with the Corps. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "M.E.S., Inc. v. Snell" on Justia Law

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This case involved an alleged bid-rigging scheme that sought to defraud various New York State and City government agencies in connection with the purchase by those agencies of a particular brand of mobile radio. Gatt, an admitted past participant in the purported scheme, sought to recover damages from alleged co-conspirators for losses arising from the termination of Gatt's at-will distribution contract for those radios. Gatt raised federal and state antitrust claims arising under the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1; the Donnelly Act, N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law 340; and New York common law. The court concluded that Gatt lacked antitrust standing to pursue its antitrust claims and that its common law claims were properly dismissed as a matter of law. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of Gatt's complaint. View "Gatt Communications, Inc. v. PMC Associates, L.L.C." on Justia Law