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United States ex rel. Int’l Bhd. of Elec. Workers Local 98 v. The Fairfield Co.

3rd Circuit

July 13, 2021

Local 98 filed a sealed qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) complaint alleging that Fairfield, an open-shop construction company, submitted fraudulently certified payrolls to SEPTA with whom Fairfield contracted. The complaint alleged Fairfield intended for SEPTA to use those documents to secure payments from the federal government. The United States Department of Justice elected not to intervene. The District Court overruled Fairfield’s challenges to a Special Master’s Report & Recommendation and entered judgment in excess of $1 million. Fairfield appealed. The Third Circuit affirmed in a 74-page opinion, which included a table of contents. The Third Circuit held: that a 2009 amendment to the FCA’s liability standard applies retroactively to cases pending on or after June 7, 2008; that the record established Fairfield’s misclassification of its workers; that Fairfield’s false certified payrolls were material to the Government’s decision to pay for the associated work; and that the burden-shifting framework for damages in Fair Labor Standards Act cases applied.

Farfield-Co

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