Making good on his promise a few weeks ago, Attorney General Mike DeWine this week was joined at a press conference by Senators Jim Hughes (R – Columbus) and Scott Oelslager (R – North Canton) to announce plans for legislation to enact a state-level false claims act.
Billed as an effective tool to root out fraud committed by government vendors, the bill would alllow individuals with knowledge of possible fraudulent activity to file suit in state courts against firms doing business with public entities. False claims suits could be filed against any business selling services or goods to state government.
The OMA’s Ryan Augsburger commented that, “while fraud against the government is not to be condoned, there are preferable alternatives to creating a wholly new category of civil actions. False claims could become a tool for disgruntled employees to harass employers and for enterprising plaintiffs' lawyers to churn business. In today’s global economy, we need less exposure to frivolous lawsuits, not more.”