2011 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 46 — Public welfare and assistance
RS 46:439.4 — Recovery awarded to a qui tam plaintiff
§439.4. 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 secretary or the attorney general intervenes in the action brought by a qui tam plaintiff, the qui tam plaintiff shall receive at least fifteen percent, but not more than twenty-five percent, of recovery.
(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 the prosecution of the 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, relating to allegations or transactions in criminal, civil, or administrative hearings, or from the news media, the court may award such sum it considers appropriate, but in no case may the court award more than ten percent of the proceeds, considering the significance of the information and the role of the person bringing the action in advancing the case to litigation. Any payment to a person in accordance with this Subsection shall be made from the proceeds recovered.
B. Except as provided by Subsection D of this Section, if the secretary or the attorney general does not intervene in the qui tam action, the qui tam plaintiff shall receive an amount, not less than twenty-five but not more than thirty percent of recovery, 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 through litigation or settlement, 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 secretary or 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 secretary or the attorney general intervenes, if the court finds that the action was brought by a person who planned and initiated 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 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.
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 secretary, the medical assistance programs, 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 or settlement.
Acts 1997, No. 1373, §1; Acts 2007, No. 14, §1, eff. June 18, 2007; Acts 2009, No. 426, §1; Acts 2011, No. 185, §1.
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