2011 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 39 — Public finance
RS 39:2160 — Recovery awarded to a qui tam plaintiff
§2160. Recovery awarded to a qui tam plaintiff
A.(1) Except as provided by Subsection D of this Section and Paragraph (3) of this Subsection, if the attorney general intervenes in the action brought by a qui tam plaintiff, the qui tam plaintiff shall receive at least ten percent, but not more than twenty percent, of actual damages and civil fines awarded by the court, exclusive of the civil monetary penalty provided in R.S. 39:2156(C).
(2) In making a determination of award to the qui tam plaintiff, the court shall consider the extent to which the qui tam plaintiff substantially contributed to investigations and proceedings related to the qui tam action.
(3) If the court finds the allegations in the qui tam action to be based primarily on disclosures of specific information other than information provided by the qui tam plaintiff, the court may award less than ten percent of actual damages and civil fines awarded by the court, exclusive of the civil monetary penalty provided in R.S. 39:2156(C), taking into account the significance of the information and the role of the qui tam plaintiff in advancing the qui tam action to judgment or settlement.
B. Except as provided by Subsection D of this Section, if the attorney general does not intervene in the qui tam action, the qui tam plaintiff shall receive an amount, not to exceed thirty percent of actual damages, civil fines, and the civil monetary penalty provided for in R.S. 39:2156(C), which the court decides is reasonable for the qui tam plaintiff pursuing the action to judgment or settlement.
C.(1) In addition to all other recovery to which he is entitled and if he prevails in the qui tam action, the qui tam plaintiff shall be entitled to an award against the defendant for costs, expenses, fees, and attorney fees, subject to review by the court using a reasonable, necessary, and proper standard of review.
(2) If the attorney general does not intervene and the qui tam plaintiff conducts the action, the court shall award costs, expenses, fees, and attorney fees to a prevailing defendant if the court finds that the allegations made by the qui tam plaintiff were meritless or brought primarily for the purposes of harassment. A finding by the court that qui tam allegations were meritless or brought primarily for the purposes of harassment may be used by the prevailing defendant in the qui tam action or any other civil proceeding to recover losses or damages sustained as a result of the qui tam plaintiff filing and pursuing such a qui tam action.
D. Whether or not the attorney general intervenes, if the court finds that the action was brought by a person who participated in the violation which is the subject of the action, then the court may, to the extent the court considers appropriate, reduce the share of the proceeds of the action which the qui tam plaintiff would otherwise receive under Subsection A or B of this Section, taking into account the role that the qui tam plaintiff played in advancing the case to judgment or settlement and any relevant circumstances pertaining to the qui tam plaintiff's participation in the violation. A person who planned the violation shall not be entitled to recovery.
E. When more than one party serves as a qui tam plaintiff, the share of recovery each receives shall be determined by the court. In no case, however, shall the total award to multiple qui tam plaintiffs be greater than the total award allowed to a single qui tam plaintiff under Subsection A or B of this Section.
F. In no instance shall the attorney general or the state be liable for any costs, expenses, fees, or attorney fees incurred by the qui tam plaintiff or for any award entered against the qui tam plaintiff.
G. The percentage of the share awarded to or settled for by the qui tam plaintiff shall be determined using the total amount of the award. However, the total amount of funds lost from the hurricane relief programs must be made whole through the payment of any and all actual damages prior to the disbursement of any funds related to the percentage of the damages to be received by the qui tam plaintiff.
Acts 2006, No. 479, §1, eff. June 22, 2006.
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