Court Throws Out Counterclaim That Alleged That Whistleblower Divulged Confidential Information

Court Throws Out Counterclaim That Alleged That Whistleblower Divulged Confidential Information

May 12, 2016

A federal judge recently dismissed a company’s counterclaim that it brought against a whistleblower for violating the company’s privacy policy and a confidentiality agreement by providing the government with confidential information.  In United States ex rel. Matthew Cieszynski, et al. v. LifeWatch Services Inc., No. 13 C 4052 (N.D. Ill. May 9, 2016), the court balanced public and private interests and found that the whistleblower had not divulged any more information than necessary to alert the government about the company’s alleged violation of the False Claims Act.  

Lesson:  Companies considering counterclaims against whistleblowers for violating company policies or confidentiality agreements should first assess whether the whistleblower divulged more information than necessary to the government.  The court’s decision can be found here

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