United States ex rel. Daniel Feldman v. Van Gorp, No. 10-3297 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Defendants appealed from the district court's denial of their motion for judgment as a matter of law and their motion for a new trial following a jury verdict partially in favor of plaintiff on his claims regarding the misuse of a research training grant brought on behalf of the government pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq., and awarding principally $855,714 in treble actual damages. The court concluded that: (1) where the government had provided funds for a specified good or service only to have defendant substitute a non-conforming good or service, a court could, upon a proper finding of False Claims Act liability, calculate damages to be the full amount of the grant payments made by the government after the material false statements were made; (2) there was sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could determine that the false statements at issue were material to the government's funding decision; and (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence of inaction on the part of the NIH in response to plaintiff's complaint regarding the fellowship program in which he had been enrolled. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.