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Environment & Energy Report

No Lawyer Means No False Claims Act Suit, Fourth Circuit Affirms

Jan. 14, 2020, 6:37 PM

A whistleblower may not pursue a False Claims Act suit against SCANA Corp. and South Carolina Electric & Gas Corp. without counsel, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled Tuesday.

The government, which benefits from whistleblower suits brought in its name, could be bound by an adverse judgment if a court allowed a whistleblower to proceed “pro se,” the court said.

Allowing a pro se whistleblower to pursue a suit could “prevent another better-equipped plaintiff” from pursuing the suit because the FCA only allows for one whistleblower to bring an action based on specific underlying facts, the...

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