Seventh Circuit Review


No one knows precisely why Congress used the phrase “based upon” in the Public Disclosure Bar of the False Claims Act, but the phrase’s meaning has confounded the circuit courts. In United States ex rel. Fowler v. Caremark Rx, LLC, the Seventh Circuit reaffirmed its narrow, minority definition of “based upon.” In its brief decision, the court skipped over a complex analysis of the Public Disclosure Bar. Yet, through that statute, Congress tried to keep opportunists from abusing the qui tam provision, which lets private citizens pursue billions of dollars lost to government fraud. After reexamining the Seventh Circuit’s method of statutory interpretation, this Note recommends that the court reevaluate its minority standard because the court failed to consider all available sources of Congress’s meaning of “based upon.”

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