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A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on March 29 held in Foulds v. Texas Tech University, et al. that the 11th Amendment bars qui tam suits filed by private citizens against a state unless the federal government actively intervenes and participates in the suit.

Dr. Carol Foulds had alleged that staff physicians at Texas Tech University’s Health Science Center were making false claims on Medicare and Medicaid billing forms filed with the federal government. In 1995, after reporting her suspicions to the Texas Tech general counsel’s office, Foulds sued the university and the health science center under the federal qui tam statute to recover the overpayments and penalties.

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