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Escobar 5 Years Later: How FCA Earthquake Is Reverberating


Five years ago Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed a billing dispute tied to one patient’s treatment at a Massachusetts clinic and in the process rattled the nation’s entire False Claims Act docket with new doctrine. Here, Law360 explores the landmark case’s aftermath and finds a litigation landscape that hasn’t come close to stabilizing.


In interviews this month, Law360 requested experts’ thoughts on Escobar’s overall impact. The responses from plaintiffs attorneys and defense lawyers in some ways seemed like polar opposites. But they were also nuanced, and attorneys for both sides acknowledged that the aftermath of Escobar hasn’t always played out entirely to their liking.


Justin Chiarodo, Blank Rome LLP: One good legacy of Escobar is that it does put some limits on these [FCA] cases, and I do think [the memo] is a response to that, in trying to control the quality of decisions.

There’s obviously always a fever pitch for whistleblowers to bring these cases forward. And having the Justice Department weigh in to look at cases that might dull the power of the statute, to manage quality, is I think a big, maybe unintended byproduct of Escobar. But I do draw a line between Escobar and that policy.

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“Escobar 5 Years Later: How FCA Earthquake Is Reverberating,” by Jeff Overley and Daniel Wilson, was published in Law360 on June 16, 2021.