How Do You Know When a Term Is Material? It’s “Obvious,” Says the Eleventh Circuit


The Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion in one of the largest False Claims Act recoveries in recent years, reinstating the majority of a massive $350 million jury verdict. The decision weighs in on a number of key and emerging FCA issues, including materiality under Escobar and relator standing. The decision is beneficial to relators and the government, but the Eleventh Circuit’s reasoning, especially with regard to Escobar, is less than clear and leaves much open to interpretation. It states that the key difference between two claims is whether the purported fraudulent scheme had a direct and “obvious” impact on the government’s payments.

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