U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


Cert. Denied


Questions Presented

Whether the Fourth Circuit erred in holding, in conflict with this Court’s jurisprudence and with decisions of other courts, that the FCA requires—and the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause condones—mechanical imposition of a separate civil penalty for each invoice submitted to the Government (here, over 9,000), without regard to the defendant’s culpability, even where the invoices are “false” only by operation of law under Hess?

Case Updates

Cert. petition denied

October 06, 2014

U.S. Chamber urges Supreme Court to review civil penalties under the False Claims Act

June 23, 2014

In the coalition brief, the U.S. Chamber asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Fourth Circuit decision which affirmed a $24 million judgement in a False Claims Act (“FCA”) case. The Chamber argues that interpreting the False Claims Act’s penalty provision to require a separate civil penalty for every invoice submitted to the government that is in any way connected with a false statement frequently results in penalties that are in no way proportional to the defendant’s culpability or the harm suffered by the government. The brief points out that the risk of incurring gigantic penalties leads many defendants to settle claims rather than bring them to trial, even when such claims are weak or meritless, thus stunting further development of the law in this area. Given the immense pressure on defendants to settle and the volume of False Claims Act cases brought in the Fourth Circuit, this Court should not wait for additional circuits to weigh in. This case presents an ideal opportunity to determine the proper method of calculating civil penalties under the False Claims Act and to clarify the constitutional limits on those fines.

David W. Ogden, Jonathan G. Cedarbaum, and Brook Hopkins of Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale, and Dorr LLP represented the U.S. Chamber as co-counsel to the National Chamber Litigation Center in this case.

The Chamber filed this brief jointly with Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the American Hospital Association.

Case Documents