Sophistication, Experts Say Author: Thomas W. Durso
An October dismissal of a lawsuit filed under the federal False Claims Act-which allows whistleblowers to sue institutions defrauding the government and to recover up to three times the funds involved, plus additional penalties-shows that the courts are becoming more sophisticated in judging science-related cases brought under the law, according to several observers.
Kathryn M. Milam, a former postdoctoral researcher at the Brain Tumor Research Center of the University of California, San Francisco, was the plaintiff. She could not persuade a judge in United States District Court in Maryland that her failure to match experimental results that several UC-San Francisco researchers reached in the early 1980s-results used to win federal grants-constituted fraud on the government.
The federal False Claims Act was passed during the Civil War to target and punish military contractors and suppliers who defrauded the government through the sale of faulty...