Roberts, et al v. United States, No. 11-2054 (8th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Relators brought a qui tam action against HP alleging that HP engaged in unlawful kickback and defective pricing schemes in its sale of computer equipment to the federal government. The United States intervened and reached a settlement with HP and the district court awarded relators a share of the kickback settlement and a share of the defective pricing settlement pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3730(d)(1). The court concluded that the case turned on fact findings the district court made regarding the relationship between relators' action and HP's subsequent disclosure of defective pricing in Contract 35F. The government failed to reveal any clear error in the district court's factual findings regarding that relationship. Moreover, at least with respect to those qui tam actions in which the government elected to intervene, a relator's initial allegations need not satisfy Rule 9(b)'s heightened pleading requirements in order to accomplish the purpose they were meant to serve. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.