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Article Quotes Aaron Silberman re 5th Circuit Decision re Federal False Claims Act Post-Escobar


RJO government contracts attorney Aaron Silberman was quoted in the Federal Contracts Report (FCR) for October 10, 2017, in an article titled “False Claims Act: $663M Reversal Has Silver Lining For Whistle-Blowers, Attorneys Say” (108 FCR, 10/10/17). The article reports on the decision of the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in U.S. ex rel. Harman v. Trinity Industries Inc., 5th Cir., No. 15-41172 (9/29/17). The court reversed a District Court’s denial of the defendants’ motion for judgment notwithstanding a $663 million verdict under the FCA for false representations about its guardrail product complying with federal safety regulations. “The result wasn’t surprising given the Supreme Court’s decision in Universal Health Servs., Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, which raised the bar a plaintiff must reach to prove the materiality element of a case, Aaron P. Silberman, a shareholder at Rogers Joseph O’Donnell in San Francisco, told Bloomberg BNA.” The article then quotes Mr. Silberman: ‘‘Where the government knows of the alleged falsity and continues to pay, it will be difficult for a plaintiff to prove materiality’’; and ‘‘Where the government’s knowledge is complete and reasoned, as it was here, proving materiality will be impossible.” Article

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