Third Circuit Adopts a More Lenient Approach on How Whistleblowers Must Plead False Claim Suits

This month, The Third Circuit, became the latest appeals court to reject a stricter pleading standard typically applied by four circuits when interpreting Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b), which states that fraud suits must describe misconduct “with particularity,” demanding that complaints include samples of actual false claims.  In a unanimous decision, the Third Circuit found little statutory support for such a demand; rather, the court commented favorably on the “nuanced approach” of the First, Fifth and Ninth circuits which have been more willing to let FCS suits proceed when circumstantial evidence strongly suggests false claims were submitted.

In its ruling in Foglia v. Renal Ventures, the Third Circuit stated, “It is hard to reconcile the text of the FCS, which does not require that the exact content of the false claims in question be shown with the ‘representative samples’ standard favored by the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh circuits.” 

Now, there is an even stronger line drawn straight down the middle between the eight circuits, deepening the division. 

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