The Supreme Court resolves circuit split on FCA statute of limitations period

On May 13, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, holding that the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) limitations period in 31 U.S.C.(b)(2) applies to “relator-initiated actions” in which the Government declines to intervene and that a relator in a nonintervened suit is not “the official of the United States” whose knowledge triggers Section 3731(b)(2)’s limitations period. Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States, ex rel. Hunt, No. 18-315 (May 13, 2019) (“Cochise”). The FCA contains two applicable limitations periods for actions alleging that a person presented false claims for payment to the Government. Under the statute, an action cannot be brought (1) more than six years after the violation was committed, or (2) more than three years after “the official of the United States charged with responsibility to act in the circumstances” knew or should…

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