Bondi wins fight over whistleblower case

Bondi wins fight over whistleblower case

In a first-of-its-kind case, an appeals court Tuesday upheld Attorney General Pam Bondi‘s decision to dismiss a long-running whistleblower lawsuit.

The issue stems from a lawsuit filed in 2009 by Zoltan Barati againstMotorola Inc. (NYSE: MSI) under the Florida False Claims Act.

Such lawsuits — technically known as “qui tam” lawsuits — are filed on behalf of the plaintiffs and the state and can involve allegations that false claims for payment were submitted to the state.

Bondi did not formally intervene in the case, but her office in 2013 filed a notice of dismissal. It said had the right to dismiss the case, despite Barati’s objections, according to Tuesday’s ruling by the First District Court of Appeal.

The issue in the appeal was whether Bondi had that authority. A three-judge panel, in a 31-page decision, backed Bondi in what it said was a question of “first impression,” meaning a first-of-its kind case.

“We hold that the attorney general possesses the plenary authority to unilaterally dismiss a qui tam action, regardless of the state’s decision to decline to previously intervene in the litigation,” said the decision, written by Judge Brad Thomas and joined by Chief JudgeClay Roberts and Judge Stephanie Ray.

Original story.

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