|Updated: 4/11/2007 10:26 am
||Published: 4/11/2007 10:26 am
If the government intervenes and joins a qui tam (KEY tam) action, plaintiffs are generally eligible to receive at least 15 percent, but not more than 25 percent, of the recovery, depending upon their contribution to the prosecution of the action. In cases where the government declines intervention and the plaintiff proceeds with the action on his or her own, he or she can receive between 15 and 30 percent of the total recovery from the defendant, whether through a favorable judgment or settlement. In addition to receiving a percentage of the award, the False Claims Act also provides that plaintiffs, if successful, will be reimbursed for expenses incurred, including attorney fees and costs. Keep in mind that if it's determined that the plaintiff was involved in the alleged wrongdoing, the court can reduce his or her share at its discretion. The amount reduced depends on the circumstances of the plaintiff's involvement. The court will generally dismiss plaintiffs from a lawsuit and deny receipt of any share of an award if plaintiffs are convicted of criminal conduct arising from the violation alleged in the lawsuit.