Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of their qui tam action. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants knowingly submitted false federal crop insurance claims. The government declined to intervene, so plaintiffs proceeded as relators. Following a bench trial, the district court found that, although defendants submitted materially false claims, plaintiffs failed to prove they knowingly defrauded the government. However, the district court subsequently granted the government’s motion to vacate the judgment on grounds that plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue a common law unjust enrichment claim on behalf of the U.S.
Where the evidence showed that defendants may have made false statements on insurance applications and the record reflected that benefits claims passed audit, plaintiffs could not make out a viable FCA claim as they could not show defendants filed false benefits claims.
Colloton, J., concurring: “I do not join the majority’s discussion of whether the evidence was sufficient to show that the defendants made a false statement that was “material” to a false claim. The appellees did not raise this point in support of the judgment. The complex issue has not been briefed or argued in this court. The appellants had no opportunity to address the question.”
Judgment is affirmed.
U.S. ex rel. Kraemer v. United Dairies, L.L.P. (MLW No. 80534/Case No. 22-3306 – 18 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Loken, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Frank, J.