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January 15, 2015

WSJ Editorial: ‘Prevent Trial Lawyers from Becoming War Profiteers’


The Wall Street Journal editorial board urges the U.S. Supreme Court to “prevent trial lawyers from becoming war profiteers” in a case that seeks to suspend the statute of limitations in civil False Claims Act cases.

During World War II, Congress passed the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act, which allowed “some leeway” in the FCA’s six-year statute of limitations while the U.S. is at war — for criminal cases.

In the case before the U.S. Supreme Court (Kellogg Brown & Root Services v. U.S. ex rel. Carter), a “whistleblower” employee tried to file multiple FCA suits alleging KBR had overcharged the government, even though the statute of limitations had run out. Thus, the whistleblower’s plaintiffs’ attorneys are alleging the “World War II” loophole applies to civil cases.

“False Claims Act cases are already on the increase, and suspending the statute of limitations on civil fraud cases would open the gates to countless more,” concludes the editorial.

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