On October 12, 2010, the United States Supreme Court denied a former employee of Purdue Pharma, LP’s petition for certiorari challenging the Fourth Circuit’s dismissal of his qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) claims with prejudice against Pharma based on a release agreement signed by the employee prior to severing his employment with Pharma. U.S. ex rel. Radcliffe v. Purdue Pharma LP, U.S., No. 10-254, cert den’d (Oct. 12, 2010). As noted in our firm’s March 29, 2010 edition of Health Headlines, the Fourth Circuit’s March 24, 2010 decision adopted an exception to the general rule that release agreements that purport to bar FCA lawsuits violate public policy. Under this exception, a release agreement can be enforced to bar an FCA lawsuit where the allegations underlying the lawsuit have already been sufficiently disclosed to the government prior to initiation of the lawsuit. The Fourth Circuit’s ruling in this case and the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant review may pave the way, in certain circumstances, for employers to avoid potential FCA exposure through release agreements with their departing employees. The Fourth Circuit’s decision is available by clicking here.