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"Collective Knowledge" Rejected

Dec.07.2010

In U.S. v. Science Applications Int'l Corp., the D.C. Circuit concluded that the government cannot use "collective knowledge" jury instructions to prove that a corporation violated the False Claims Act because it would allow FCA liability without the level of knowledge required by the statute – i.e., that the corporation's employees acted in deliberate ignorance or reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of its claims. A collective knowledge instruction improperly allows the government "to prove scienter by piecing together scraps of innocent knowledge held by various corporate officials."

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