The Relator In a Qui Tam Action

The individual who brings a qui tam action is called a “relator.”  The relator does not have to be personally harmed by the actions of the defendant.  In most cases, the action is based on the relator’s direct and independent knowledge of the wrongdoing.

The most common relators include:

  • Employees:  Employees often bring an action after trying to stop the fraud or misconduct through internal company channels, although they may bring an action even if they were involved in the wrongdoing or did nothing to stop it.  Employees who file a qui tam action are protected from retaliation under the False Claims Act.
  • Former employees:  Many qui tam actions are brought by people who have lost their jobs because of their efforts to stop their employers’ wrongdoing.
  • Competitors:  Through interaction with rival businesses, competitors may have first-hand knowledge of false claims submitted to the government.
  • Contractors or subcontractors:  While working closely with others on projects, contractors and subcontractors may come across information about fraud or wrongdoing against the government.

Because the person bringing the lawsuit does not need to have a specific type of relationship with the wrongdoer, this list is not inclusive.  The essential requirement is that the relator possess information to which the general public does not have access.

The whistleblower lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are dedicated to providing experienced, dedicated, and aggressive representation to whistleblowers looking to expose fraud and other wrongdoing.  If you choose to blow the whistle on fraud against the government, our whistleblower lawyers evaluate your case and help you comply with the various requirements of the False Claims Act.  For more information contact Michael S. Bigin or Laurence J. Hasson.