Qui Tam Action Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Qui Tam Action, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Qui Tam Action?

(n) Qui Tam Action is a lawsuit initiated by any citizen who is involved in the subject matter of the case only by virtue of his citizenship interest in that country, against the wrong doing of other person where by such person violates the law of land or cause damages to the country. The Latin word kwee tam means ‘who as well’ meaning anybody could when there is a lapse from the concerned.

History and Meaning of Qui Tam Action

Qui Tam Action is a legal concept that has its roots in English common law. The term comes from an abbreviation of the Latin phrase, "qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur," which loosely translates to "he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself." The purpose of a Qui Tam Action is to allow private citizens to act as whistleblowers and bring legal action against those who have committed fraud against the government. As a remnant of the age of the divine right of kings, Qui Tam Actions originate from the fact that the government is considered the representative of the sovereign, and the defrauding of the government is therefore considered wronging the sovereign.

Examples of Qui Tam Action

  1. The False Claims Act allows people to bring a Qui Tam Action against anyone who has defrauded the government by overbilling them, selling faulty goods or services, or any other act of fraud that has cost the government money.

  2. In 2020, a former executive of a pharmaceutical company brought a Qui Tam Action against his previous employer alleging that the company had engaged in illegal practices aimed at increasing the sales and price of its drugs.

  3. A Qui Tam Action was brought against a healthcare provider for submitting false claims for payment to Medicare or Medicaid for services that were not actually provided to patients.

Legal Terms Similar to Qui Tam Action

  1. Whistleblower - An individual who exposes wrongdoing or illegal activities within an organization.

  2. Fraud - Deliberate deception in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.

  3. False Claims Act - A federal law that allows citizens to bring a Qui Tam Action against anyone who has defrauded the government.

  4. Legal standing - The ability to bring a legal case to court, e.g., through involvement or citizenship interest in the subject matter of the case.