74.66.060  <<  74.66.070 >>   74.66.080

Qui tam actionAwardProceeds of action or settlement of claim.

(1)(a) Subject to (b) of this subsection, if the attorney general proceeds with a qui tam action, the relator must receive at least fifteen percent but not more than twenty-five percent of the proceeds of the action or settlement of the claim, depending upon the extent to which the relator substantially contributed to the prosecution of the action.
(b) Where the action is one which the court finds to be based primarily on disclosures of specific information, other than information provided by the relator, relating to allegations or transactions in a criminal, civil, or administrative hearing, in a legislative or administrative report, hearing, audit, or investigation, or from the news media, the court may award an amount it considers appropriate, but in no case more than ten percent of the proceeds, taking into account the significance of the information and the role of the relator in advancing the case to litigation.
(c) Any payment to a relator under (a) or (b) of this subsection must be made from the proceeds. The relator must also receive an amount for reasonable expenses which the court finds to have been necessarily incurred, plus reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. All expenses, fees, and costs must be awarded against the defendant.
(2) If the attorney general does not proceed with a qui tam action, the relator shall receive an amount which the court decides is reasonable for collecting the civil penalty and damages. The amount may not be less than twenty-five percent and not more than thirty percent of the proceeds of the action or settlement and must be paid out of the proceeds. The relator must also receive an amount for reasonable expenses, which the court finds to have been necessarily incurred, plus reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. All expenses, fees, and costs must be awarded against the defendant.
(3) Whether or not the attorney general proceeds with the qui tam action, if the court finds that the action was brought by a person who planned and initiated the violation of RCW 74.66.020 upon which the action was brought, then the court may, to the extent the court considers appropriate, reduce the share of the proceeds of the action which the person would otherwise receive under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, taking into account the role of that person in advancing the case to litigation and any relevant circumstances pertaining to the violation. If the person bringing the action is convicted of criminal conduct arising from his or her role in the violation of RCW 74.66.020, that person must be dismissed from the civil action and may not receive any share of the proceeds of the action. The dismissal may not prejudice the right of the state to continue the action, represented by the attorney general.
(4) If the attorney general does not proceed with the qui tam action and the relator conducts the action, the court may award to the defendant reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses if the defendant prevails in the action and the court finds that the claim of the relator was clearly frivolous, clearly vexatious, or brought primarily for purposes of harassment.
(5) Any funds recovered that remain after calculation and distribution under subsections (1) through (3) of this section must be deposited into the medicaid fraud penalty account established in RCW 74.09.215.

NOTES:

Sunset Act application: See note following chapter digest.
IntentFinding2012 c 241: See note following RCW 74.66.010.
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