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What are qui tam claims?

Non-lawyers are frequently confused by the convoluted language used in legal language. In some cases, this involves words from other languages. In some circumstances, foreign words serve as a quick way to describe a type of legal action. For instance, under employment law there is such a thing as qui tam claims. What do Minnesota residents need to know about these types of legal claims?

Qui tam claims are more commonly understood as whistleblower claims, in most cases. The Latin phrase comes from an old legal concept that referred to filing a lawsuit on behalf of the king. When a person pursues this type of claim, they are asserting that an entity -- typically their employer -- is defrauding the government. As a result, the government may recover compensation, a portion of which the person who is pursuing the claim stands to recover.

Typically, these types of claims are confidential at first. Also, the person who is pursuing the claim will usually need to put forth all of the relevant evidence to prove the claim. In some cases, the government will get involved and investigate the claim.

Qui tam claims, like many other types of claims involving employment law, can be quite complex. Pursuing these types of legal claims requires a thorough understanding of state and federal law, and the options under the provisions of these laws. To be successful in your claim you need a lawyer who has this knowledge and the skills to argue your case. Anyone who believes they may have a qui tam claim to pursue would likely benefit from seeking further information about their own unique situation.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Qui Tam Actions," accessed Feb. 2, 2018

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