Congress is considering a bill to reform medical malpractice lawsuits called the Protecting Access to Care Act. Despite its well-intentioned name, the legislation would gut patient's rights here in Pennsylvania and around the country. The bill is a misguided effort to blame the high costs of health insurance and health care on the attorneys who fight daily for victims of...
On a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the right of internal whistleblowers to sue under the Dodd-Frank Act after they are retaliated against for informing their company of suspected violations of federal securities laws. The circuit split on anti-retaliation protections for internal SEC whistleblowers now consists of the Second and Ninth Circuits in favor and the Fifth...
Brandon Lauria will speak on SEC enforcement of Rule 21F-17 at a Knowledge Group live webcast on March 9, 2017.  Rule 21F-17 prohibits confidentiality agreements and other measures which restrict access to the SEC whistleblower program.  The one hour webcast at noon (EST) will cover the rule protecting whistleblower communications with the SEC and recent civil enforcement actions brought...
It was more than a year ago that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission cracked down on a group of hackers and traders who obtained confidential, non-public information about publicly traded companies by hacking websites for press releases. A recently released report by a cybersecurity company suggests that such insider trading continues, although this time with data obtained through...
Last year, we applauded the carve-out for whistleblowers in the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA). However, a recent opinion of a U.S. District Court in the First Circuit undermined the protections afforded whistleblowers under the law. Instead of receiving immunity from the lawsuit, it became a sword to gut a potential whistleblower action. The facts at issue in...
A memo circulated in early February regarding the Financial Choice Act produced by House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) has proposed the elimination of SEC whistleblower rewards for co-conspirators. The SEC whistleblower program established by the Dodd-Frank Act currently prohibits the SEC from taking into account any monetary sanctions “based on conduct that the whistleblower directed, planned, or initiated.”...
A U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California has recently ruled on the validity of a SEC whistleblower's defense to the enforcement of a company's confidentiality agreement.  In the decision, the Court accepts the validity of a public policy defense to a limited whistleblower disclosure of confidential information concerning securities fraud. The case arose after a whistleblower sued the...
We have discussed the potential for whistleblower actions grounded in the protection of the environment and compliance with environmental laws here before. Most depend on the unique circumstances of the case and the fraudulent scheme in order to fit within one of the whistleblower programs. With the Trump Administration in office, it is unclear how long these programs will...
The United States has joined a lawsuit brought by whistleblowers under the False Claims Act accusing UnitedHealth Group of bilking Medicare by fraudulently boosting payments through the inflation of plan members’ risk scores under Medicare Advantage. In other words, UnitedHealth told the United States that patients were sicker than they were and collected more money from the government as...
We are seeing more movement on the payment of whistleblower rewards internationally. Nigeria and Korea have been paying rewards recently and Australia continues to consider stronger retaliation protections and monetary incentives. This is in addition to the Ontario Securities Commission’s implementation of a program to reward tips about securities fraud last year. Here is a brief overview of the news...
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