“Public disclosure” defeats qui tam case

Relators, displeased with their treatment by the City of Dallas in connection with the redevelopment of a downtown office building, “embarked on a fifteen-month investigation that involved compiling data and performing analyses of DHA properties, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit project locations, and City plans and reports.”  United States ex rel Lockey v. City of Dallas, Nos. 13-10884 & 14-10063 (Aug. After proceedings before HUD, they filed a qui tam lawsuit, alleging that the City and the Dallas Housing Authority submitted false claims that were not in compliance with their obligations under civil rights and fair housing laws.  The Fifth Circuit affirmed dismissal, noting that “[t]he overwhelming majority of the complaint is . . . based, not on the Relators’ personal experiences with the City, but on their research of publicly disclosed information.”  (applying United States ex rel. Reagan v. East Texas Medical Center, 385 F.3d 168, 177-78 (5th Cir. 2004)).

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