BATON ROUGE — A bill proposing a qui tam action for people who report fraud against the state of Louisiana was recently sent to the Committee on House and Governmental Affairs.
Sponsored by state Rep. Raymond Crews (R-Bossier City), House Bill 97 (HB 97) authorizes a qui tam action for private citizens who report certain fraudulent actions committed against the state of Louisiana. Under this qui tam action, the plaintiff may seek damages in civil court on behalf of the themselves and the state.
The damages received by the qui tam plaintiff are limited and involve the court's discretion. The damages received by the plaintiff should not exceed 30 percent of the total damages.
HB 97 includes various limitations on who can qualify as a qui tam plaintiff. The plaintiff cannot be a current or former public employee who had the responsibility of reporting or investigating the alleged fraud. Also, the person will not qualify as a qui tam plaintiff if they were involved in the alleged misconduct.