New opinions — false claims, securities fraud

First up, a reversal that deepens a circuit split. A nurse who was fired sued her former employer under the False Claims Act, alleging the employer was lying about its compliance with state regulations. The district court dismissed for failure to state a claim based on heightened pleading requirements for fraud claims, but CA3 reversed. The court noted a circuit split on FCA pleading requirements and joined Circuits 1, 5, & 9, rejecting Circuits 4, 6, 8, & 11.

The case is Foglia v. Renal Ventures Management. Opinion by Sloviter, joined by McKee and Smith. Arguing counsel Ross Begelman for the nurse and Barry Muller for the employer. Nearly 9 months passed between argument and issuance, unusual for a 12-page opinion with no dissent.

Update: the opinion was reissued on 6/10/14, new opinion here.

The other published case today is a securities-fraud affirmance. A pension fund sued a drug-maker, alleging the maker misled the public about an Alzheimer’s drug it was developing.  CA3 upheld 12b6 dismissal of the suit.

The case is City of Edinburgh v. Pfizer. Opinion by Scirica, joined by Smith and Shwartz. Arguing counsel were Daniel Berger for the funds and John Villa for the drug-maker.