In United States ex rel. May v. Purdue Pharma L.P., No. 14-2299 (4th Cir. Jan. 29, 2016), the Relators filed a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA), alleging that defendant engaged in a fraudulent scheme relating to the marketing of one of its pain medications.  The district court dismissed the case, ruling that the FCA’s public disclosure bar – which precludes FCA claims “based upon the public disclosure of allegations or transactions in a criminal, civil, or administrative hearing” – applied here because the claims in this case were nearly identical to those in a prior qui tam case brought against the same defendant and filed by the Relators’ attorney.  On appeal, the Relators – who were former employees of the defendant – argued that their case was not actually derived from the prior one because they did not review the pleadings in the prior action, and they learned of all of the allegations in their case previously from nonpublic sources.  The Fourth Circuit disagreed, and in affirming the dismissal, concluded that it was clear that that Relators did not learn of the alleged fraud entirely independent of a prior lawsuit; instead, their knowledge of the case stems from their attorney’s involvement in the prior action.  The court further stated that its holding was consistent with the purpose of the FCA, which strives to strike a balance between empowering the public to expose fraud and preventing “parasitic actions.”