Pennsylvania 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.
Pennsylvania Whistleblower News
- Penn State Responds to Whistleblower: We ‘Strongly Dispute’ Allegations
June 9, 2015 – Penn State University “strongly disputes” allegations lodged by a whistleblowing student, including that school officials were aware of sexual assault and hazing at the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity. Virginia resident James Vivenzio has sued the university because he endured what he said was life-threatening hazing as a member of the fraternity, which has since been banished from the campus. In the lawsuit, Vivenzio, 21, alleges he told school officials of various forms of hazing and abuse, as well as about secret fraternity Facebook pages depicting naked women. Vivenzio alleges that he approached school officials regarding hazing at the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity months before it was shut down. Penn State denies the allegations.
- Judge Awards Whistleblower $318k In Case Against Philly School District
May 23, 2015 – A former Philadelphia School District administrator who claims he was fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on a mishandled $7.5-million security-camera contract will receive a $318,000 award, a Philadelphia federal judge ordered on Monday. Francis X. Dougherty sued the Philadelphia School District, its former top human resources official, Estelle Matthews, and the estate of Arlene Ackerman, who died in February 2013, alleging he was wrongfully suspended and subsequently fired for talking to the press about the dubious contract. Mr. Dougherty’s lawsuit claimed that Ms. Ackerman violated his First Amendment right to free speech by placing him on leave from his job as the district’s acting chief of operations in December 2010 while she investigated how information about the contract to install surveillance cameras in 19 city schools deemed as “persistently dangerous” was being leaked to The Inquirer.
- Whistleblower suit filed against West Chester University alleges misleading financial records
May 14, 2015 – A whistleblower suit has been filed against West Chester University of Pennsylvania, with allegations of misleading financial records. Colleen Bradley, director of budget and financial planning since November 2011, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia today. Ms. Bradley has been notified that her job will be terminated on June 30. She currently is on medical leave. In addition to West Chester University, the suit names four officials of the university as well as the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and two of its officials. The suit alleges a violation of Ms. Bradley’s constitutional right to free speech, the state Whistleblower Law, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
- Whistleblower Accuses Pennsylvania Hospital Of Retaliation And False Claims To Medicare
August 31, 2014 – A former employee of Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital alleging she was fired in retaliation for reporting that laboratory technicians were modifying orders for blood work in a way that resulted in the submission of false claims to Medicare for reimbursement. Joanne Cleighton filed the whistleblower lawsuit on Aug. 11 in a Philadelphia federal court, alleging that Abington Memorial suspended her without pay and then fired her for voicing her objections to the alleged false claims despite her 26-year employment with the hospital and “exemplary” work history. The lawsuit states that if a blood sample from a Medicare patient required immediate testing to determine treatment options, the hospital could perform the lab tests in-house and still get reimbursed by Medicare.