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How Long Does a Whistleblower Case Take?

Each whistleblower case is different – some are resolved in a matter of months, while others may take several years.

The Qui Tam Procedure

After speaking with your attorney, he or she will determine whether you can take legal action. If so, he or she will:

  • Draft a complaint outlining the facts of your case, as well as its legal basis
  • File the complaint with the court
  • Notify the government of your case
  • Assist the government while it investigates your case

Government Intervention and How It Affects Your Qui Tam Case

Under the False Claims Act, the Attorney General (or a Department of Justice attorney) must investigate any allegations that a corporation or organization is submitting false claims to the federal government. The investigation usually involves one or more law enforcement agencies (such as the FBI, the Office of the Inspector General, or the Postal Inspection Service), and, depending on the details of your case, could take several years to complete.

In general, the federal government will take at least 60 days to investigate the claims contained in a whistleblower lawsuit. If the government needs more time, it will usually ask the court to keep the lawsuit and related documents under seal so that the case remains confidential. These motions usually request an extension of the seal for six months at a time. Therefore, the extent of the government’s investigation will affect the amount of time it will take to resolve your case.

Resolving Your Qui Tam Lawsuit

If the government decides to intervene, the case will be resolved with a jury verdict or settlement. If the government declines your request to join the case, your attorney will help you decide whether to pursue the lawsuit without the government’s intervention. The federal government has limited resources and cannot participate in each case; however, just because the government chooses not to participate in your case does not mean that you have a meritless claim.

If you have questions or concerns about filing a qui tam lawsuit, contact our attorneys today for more information.

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