As previously discussed on this blog, the Supreme Court announced last year that it would resolve a circuit split over when a relator needed to file a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). Earlier this month, the Court decided in Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States ex rel. Hunt, that relators can — in limited circumstances — take advantage of the FCA’s 3-year “alternative” statute of limitations, which means they may file their complaints up to four years after the default 6-year period has expired.
Now that the dust has settled, it is worth stepping back to take stock of the ruling’s practical effect. We believe that Cochise will have limited impact on most qui tam actions, although it leaves some important questions open. For FCA aficionados, the ruling by Justice Thomas also foreshadows a plain-reading, textual approach to future questions that may arise. Continue Reading