In United States ex rel. Fowler v. Caremark Rx, L.L.C., No. 06-4419 (7th Cir. July 27, 2007), the court declined to join the large majority of circuits that apply a restrictive rule to determine subject matter jurisdiction in qui tam cases.

The qui tam statute authorizes private citizens to bring cases on behalf of the U.S. government to recover losses and penalties for, among other things, fraudulent billing.  But the statute withholds jurisdiction in cases "based on" information that someone else disclosed to the public.

The majority rule reads "based on" as barring jurisdiction even if the relator bringing the case got the information from a non-public source.  The minority rule requires that the relator actually derive her information from a public source.

The relator lost anyway.

Barry Barnett

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