UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION
July 9, 1993
JUDITH A. NEAL, Plaintiff,
HONEYWELL INC., a corporation, and ALLIANT TECHSYSTEMS INC., a corporation, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: PAUL E. PLUNKETT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
In our Memorandum Opinion and Order dated June 16, 1993, we held that the whistleblower protection provision of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. section 3730(h),
protects internal corporate whistleblowers from retaliation even where a qui tam lawsuit is never filed under the Act. See Neal v. Honeywell, 1993 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8284 at 7-15 (N.D. Ill. filed 1993) (Plunkett, J.) Relying on the proposition that whistleblower protection statutes are remedial in nature and thus to be liberally construed, we declined to follow recent cases to the contrary. See id. at 13-14.
We find that our decision to extend the coverage of section 3730(h) to a plaintiff who does not fall within the literal terms of the statute involves a controlling issue of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion. We also find that an immediate appeal of this issue may materially advance the ultimate termination of this litigation: should the Appellate Court decide that section 3730(h) does not apply in the present case, dismissal would be appropriate.
Therefor, we certify the following issue for interlocutory appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b): whether the whistleblower protection provision of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h), applies where an employee presents evidence of fraud to her superiors who then voluntarily investigate the matter, disclose the results to the government and pay reparation without a qui tam lawsuit ever being filed.
PAUL E. PLUNKETT
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
DATED: July 9, 1993