False Claims Bill Withdrawn

Legislation that would have authorized a person to file suit on behalf of the state for an alleged false claim and recover up to 25 percent of the proceeds was withdrawn by its sponsor.

The Maryland Chamber opposed the bill. We support vigorous enforcement of state laws against persons attempting to defraud state programs, but we do not support the creation of a new private cause of action for individuals to pursue these claims. The Chamber believes this would increase legal costs for business, as the state would have no incentive to curtail cases of marginal merit.

Similar legislation addressing health care false claims passed in 2010, with proponents claiming that the state would recover $300 million per year in fraudulent Medicaid claims. According to the fiscal note of this year’s bill, the state recovered $3.7 million in 2011, $1.2 million in 2012 and $12 million so far in 2013, and the Attorney General’s office admits that, of those settlements, only $112,000 would have been unrecoverable if Maryland’s false claims laws weren’t in place.

For more information, contact Mathew Palmer at mpalmer@mdchamber.org.

Legislative Issues Tag: Civil Liability

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