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Federal court in Portland denies Lincare, Inc.’s motion to dismiss False Claims Act retaliation claim

Today, the U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine denied Lincare, Inc.’s motion to dismiss a claim of retaliation under the False Claims Act (FCA). The anti-retaliation provisions of the FCA protect whistleblowers from retaliation when they “pursue, investigate, or contribute to an action exposing fraud against the [federal] government.”

Former Lincare employee Adam Jewell filed his FCA retaliation claim after Lincare terminated his employment. Mr. Jewell’s lawsuit alleges that Lincare terminated his employment because he reported to Lincare that his immediate supervisor was forging signatures on documents and backdating documents that Lincare submitted to the government for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Lincare argued that terminating an employee for blowing the whistle on his supervisor’s practice of forging and backdating Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement documents does not violate the FCA. The Court rejected this argument. It held that Lincare could not terminate Mr. Jewel for reporting his supervisor because his reports “concerned Lincare’s fraudulent billing practices.”

Attorneys Peter Thompson, Chad T. Hansen, and Allison Gray, of the Maine Employee Rights Group, represent Mr. Jewell in this lawsuit.