Gonzalez v. Planned Parenthood, No. 12-56352 (9th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against Planned Parenthood under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that Planned Parenthood knowingly and falsely overbilled state and federal governments for contraceptives supplied to low-income individuals. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint on the alternative ground that the complaint did not state plausible claims for relief. Even assuming that the third amended complaint sufficiently alleged falsity, it did not satisfy Rule 8(a), which requires a plausible claim that Planned Parenthood knowingly made false claims, with the statutory scienter. Because plaintiff's own complaint attachments defeated the plausibility of his allegations, and because he had already amended his complaint several times, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying him further leave to amend. The district court also correctly concluded that plaintiff's claims under state law were time-barred. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.
Court Description: False Claims Act. The panel affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a complaint alleging that, in violation of the False Claims Act and the California False Claims Act, Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles knowingly and falsely overbilled state and federal governments for contraceptives supplied to low- income individuals. The district court dismissed the FCA claims for failure sufficiently to plead falsity under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b). The panel affirmed on the alternate ground that the plaintiff’s third amended complaint did not state a plausible claim that Planned Parenthood knowingly made false claims, with the statutory scienter, as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). The panel concluded that the plaintiff’s assertion that Planned Parenthood knowingly submitted false claims for reimbursement was compellingly contradicted by a series of letters he attached to the complaint. The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the plaintiff further leave to amend his complaint. The panel held that the state law claims were barred by the three-year statute of limitations.