Partially Intervened Qui Tam Cases Cannot Have Two Masters: Court Bars Relators From Proceeding With Their Non-intervened Claims

Dear Readers,I commend to you a remarkable case, U.S. ex rel. Wride v. Stevens-Henager College, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6783, 2019 WL 186663 (D. Utah 2019), which addresses the question of whether a qui tam in which the government has partially intervened has “two masters,” the government and the relator, each controlling their own sphere of the litigation, or just one. The District Court held that only one master — the government — can conduct the litigation in a partially intervened qui tam and relator cannot proceed with its own non-intervened claims or amend to bring new claims. The Court specifically found that where the government has intervened in a qui tam “action,” including where the government has intervened in only some but not all of the relators’ qui tam claims, the False Claims Act (FCA) provides that the government alone has the “primary responsibility for conducting the action” and the relators do not…

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