On February 29, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Cause of Action v. Chicago Transit Authority held that information disclosed to a government official and acted upon by that official has been publicly disclosed, barring a qui tam action from being brought under the False Claims Act. Several other circuits, including the First, Fourth, and Sixth, in contrast, have all interpreted the public disclosure bar within the False Claims Act to require a disclosure of information beyond the government. This Comment argues that the majority of circuit courts have correctly interpreted the False Claims Act. Barring qui tam actions when the government is in possession of information is in line with the now abolished government knowledge bar. Congress’s 1986 amendment to the False Claims Act intended to allow meritorious qui tam actions and allow citizens to ensure the government holds those who commit fraud against it accountable.
Kurtis Brown, Who Needs to Know? The Seventh Circuit Accepts Information Sent to Government as Publicly Disclosed in Cause of Action v. Chicago Transit Authority, 58 B.C.L. Rev. E. Supp. 224 (2017), https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol58/iss6/17