The government makes the initial decision as to what the appropriate percentage is based on different factors, including:
- Relator knew first-hand details of fraud;
- Relator was the first to file a False Claims Act lawsuit;
- Length of time elapsing between relator’s learning of the fraud and reporting the fraud;
- Time when relator reported the fraud to the government;
- Size of the defendant corporation;
- Scale of the fraud (nationwide, statewide, worldwide)
- Assistance rendered by the relator during investigation phase; and
- Impact reporting fraud has on the relator’s livelihood and lifestyle.
In some cases, the relator may object to the amount the government has decided to pay, and ask the judge to award a higher amount.
The statute also provides that qui tam counsel are entitled to reimbursement of attorney’s fees, costs and expenses, separate from any contingency fee as a percentage of the relator’s share that relator may have agreed to with his attorney.
Damages resulting from settlement of a retaliation claim are paid 100% to the relator (the government has no stake in the retaliation claim):
- Reinstatement with seniority;
- Double back pay;
- Special damages; and
- Attorney fees and costs