Upholding Accountability and Safeguarding Public Interest
Whistleblowers have long been unsung heroes in the fight against corruption, injustice, and wrongdoing. A recent Delray Beach case related to contaminated water systems in Florida illustrates the essential role whistleblowers play in upholding the public’s right to safety and transparency, and the courage required to stand up against powerful institutions.
In this case, Christine Ferrigan, a former Delray Beach Industrial Pretreatment Inspector, exposed years of poor water management and secured an $818,500 personal reward in addition to finally obtaining water quality improvements for Delray Beach.
For years, Delray Beach struggled with contaminated drinking water due to allegedly inadequate management by the city. Ferrigan’s whistleblowing efforts led to the city paying a $1 million fine, following an investigation confirming that partially treated reclaimed water had improperly been mixed with drinking water supplies. Ms. Ferrigan’s determination and courage to come forward ultimately resulted in the exposure of dangerous corruption and the restoration of public health for thousands.
Whistleblowers like Ms. Ferrigan are critical to promoting justice and making our world a better, safer place. They challenge deception, demand accountability, and safeguard the interests of the public. Often, their actions save lives and prevent further harm to the environment and our communities.
It is imperative for people with knowledge of wrongdoing to take a stand, as whistleblowers form the first line of defense against corruption and abuse. Their actions ensure that governments, organizations, and corporations are held accountable for their actions, protecting the rights and wellbeing of citizens. And the laws of the U.S. support and encourage this noble behavior by providing for cash incentives and rewards for whistleblowers who successfully expose corruption, fraud, and actions that are dangerous to all of us.
“The people of Delray Beach, and people everywhere, deserve clean water and to know when their health is at risk,” noted Ferrigan. “Individuals have the power to speak up and make a difference. By understanding and utilizing legal protections, potential whistleblowers can find the courage to come forward and contribute to creating a safer and more just society.”
About Lieff Cabraser’s Whistleblower Law Practice
Lieff Cabraser represents whistleblowers who uncover fraud on the government in a wide range of Qui Tam / False Claims Act cases, including medicare and healthcare fraud, defense contractor fraud, securities and financial fraud, insurance fraud, and many other false claims.
Lieff Cabraser’s successes in False Claims Act cases include helping former University of Phoenix enrollment counselors receive a portion of a $78.5 million settlement, the largest settlement ever in a qui tam case involving the U.S. Department of Education. The complaint alleged that the University of Phoenix defrauded the Department of Education by obtaining federal student loan and Pell Grant monies based on false statements of compliance with the Higher Education Act.
Lieff Cabraser also successfully represented the whistleblower and the California cities, counties, and school districts that intervened in a false claims lawsuit against Office Depot. Office Depot promised in the U.S. Communities contract to sell office supplies at its best governmental pricing nationwide, but repeatedly failed to give most of its California governmental customers the lowest price it was offering other governmental customers. A California Superior Court approved a $77.5 million settlement of the case.
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