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Key Votes

HB 4001 - Authorizes False Claims Lawsuits - West Virginia Key Vote

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Issues Related to HB 4001

Stage Details

Legislation - Bill Failed (House) (42-55) - (Key vote)
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Title: Authorizes False Claims Lawsuits

Vote Result
Yea Votes
Nay Votes
Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that authorizes an individual to bring a civil action against an individual who submits a false claim to the state.

Highlights:
  • Authorizes an individual to file a civil lawsuit against an individual who knowingly submits, uses, or benefits from a false or fraudulent “claim” to the state (Ch. 14). 
  • Defines “claim” as any request or demand for money or property that is presented to a representative of the state and is meant to be used to advance a governmental program or interest (Ch. 14).
  • Establishes a civil penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 and 3 times the amount of damages sustained by the state for an individual who knowingly submits, uses, or benefits from a false claim (Ch. 14).
  • Authorizes the state to join an independently-filed lawsuit against an individual who knowingly commits fraud against the state by filing a false claim (Ch. 14). 
  • Authorizes the individual who filed the lawsuit to continue to prosecute the case if the state elects to not participate (Ch. 14).
  • Requires the court to award “reasonable” reimbursement for legal fees to an individual who filed a successful false claim lawsuit, as well as the following portions of the proceeds of the lawsuit (Ch. 14):
    • Not less than 15% and not more than 25% if the state participated in the lawsuit; or 
    • Not less than 25% and not more than 30% if the state did not participate in the lawsuit.
  • Establishes the State False Claims Act Fund, to which all remaining funds after the settlement of a false claim lawsuit will be deposited, and which shall be used to fund secondary road maintenance, volunteer fire departments, and Title 19 waivers for senior citizens (Ch. 14).
  • Authorizes the court to award the defendant in a false claim lawsuit a “reasonable” amount for legal fees if the following conditions are met (Ch. 14): 
    • The defendant won the lawsuit;
    • The state did not participate in the lawsuit; and
    • The court finds that the lawsuit was filed for reasons that are “clearly frivolous,” “clearly vexatious,” or “for purposes of harassment.”  
Legislation - Introduced (House) -

Title: Authorizes False Claims Lawsuits

Sponsors

  • Timothy J. 'Tim' Manchin (WV - D) (Out Of Office)

Co-sponsors

  • Joshua Jared Barker (WV - D) (Out Of Office)
  • Michael Jason Barrett (WV - D) (Out Of Office)
  • Tiffany E. Lawrence (WV - D) (Out Of Office)
  • Justin Jerome Marcum (WV - D) (Out Of Office)
  • Stephen Gibson Skinner (WV - D) (Out Of Office)
  • Adam Ryan Young (WV - D) (Out Of Office)
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