Oregon does not have a state False Claims Act. However, those who witness fraud, waste or abuse affecting either the state or federal government can file a whistleblower lawsuit under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act. Whistleblower provisions in the False Claims Act also protect relators from workplace retaliation resulting from their report. Contact us to learn more about your rights as a whistleblower.
Oregon Whistleblower News
- Oregon Lawmaker Introduces Whistleblower Protection Bill
June 10, 2015 – Oregon state Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, has introduced a measure that would try to protect government whistleblowers. The bill would make it a crime for managers to retaliate against government employees who disclose information about suspected abuse of power. It comes after a state IT manager turned over thousands of Governor John Kitzhaber’s emails to the press. Although Kitzhaber soon left office under criminal ethics investigations, the employee would not have been protected by this measure. The bill would only prevent retaliation if the public employee turns over the information to a state regulatory agency, a law enforcement agency or a member of the legislature. The media is not included in that list.
- UO whistleblowers: giving student’s confidential therapy records to campus lawyers felt wrong
June 04, 2015 – EUGENE — The executive assistant to the director of the University of Oregon’s Counseling Center disobeyed instructions last December and showed a therapist a confidential email from their boss. The email’s directions horrified both Karen Stokes, the director’s assistant, and Jennifer Morlok, the clinician. Shelly Kerr, the center’s director, told Stokes in the Dec. 8, 2014, message to give the university’s legal office a client’s entire case file — including notes taken by Morlok during private therapy sessions.
- Whistleblower Films Oregon Timber Workers Getting Sprayed With Toxic Herbicides
May 29, 2015 – A hazardous chemicals driver hired to work a temporary job delivering weed killers to timber operations deep in Oregon’s western forests took more than 200 videos on his smartphone capturing indiscriminate, heavy aerial spraying of herbicides that rained over himself and other workers. Daryl Ivy, a truck driver for Applebee Aviation, submitted hours of time-stamped video clips and pictures to The Oregonian/OregonLive documenting helicopters dumping toxic weed killers on plants, animals, and workers without any apparent regard for safety or the environment. Seneca Jones Timber Co. owns the Douglas County land where Mr. Ivy was hired by Applebee, a contractor, to work. To this day, Mr. Ivy coughs up blood and is pursuing a workers compensation claim with Applebee’s.
- Medical Device Maker To Pay U.S. $4.9 Million In Whistleblower Kickback Case
November 22, 2014 – Biotronik Inc., an Oregon-based medical device manufacturer, has agreed to pay $4.9 million to resolve allegations made by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that the company violated federal anti-kickback laws by paying physicians to use devices that it produced and sold. Former Biotronik employee, Brian Sant, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company under the qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act, which authorizes private individuals armed with evidence of fraud and other wrongdoing against federal agencies and programs to sue on behalf of the U.S. and share in any recovery. The U.S. Justice Department said that Mr. Sant will receive about $840,000 for his role in helping the U.S. recover the funds from Biotronik.