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Maryland Legislature Passes Revised State False Claims Act

On Wednesday, the Maryland House of Delegates voted 89 to 51 to pass the Maryland False Claims Act, which will greatly expand Maryland’s false claims law beyond its current limited application to healthcare-related false claims, such as Medicaid fraud. The Act will now allow individuals who have knowledge of any false claims made to Maryland or a local government to alert the state and will provide those whistleblowers protection from retaliation.

Under the Act, Maryland can recover up to triple damages and a $10,000 civil fine, and whistleblowers would be entitled to recover attorneys’ fees and between 15 percent and 25 percent of the government’s recovery. Interestingly, unlike the federal False Claims Act and most state false claims laws, which allow qui tam relators to continue litigation on their own, the Maryland False Claims Act requires that a court dismiss the case if the government declines to intervene.

The Maryland Senate already passed the Act in March by a vote of 46 to 1. The Act will now be sent to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for his signature.

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