Kellogg Brown & Root Servs., Inc. v. United States ex rel. Carter, 575 U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 1970 (2015)

Petitioners were employed by defense contractors that provided logistical services to the United States military during the armed conflict in Iraq. They filed a qui tam complaint against various defense contractors, alleging the contractors had fraudulently billed the government for water purification services that were not performed or not performed properly. Following a “remarkable sequence of dismissals and filings,” the defense contractors sought dismissal of the third complaint filed against them on two grounds (statute of limitations and the first-to-file rule). The United States Supreme Court held that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act applies only to criminal offenses and thus did not suspend the running of the statute of limitations applicable to a civil complaint such as petitioners’. However, the Court held that the one claim that was not barred by the statute of limitations also was not barred by the first-to-file rule because a qui tam suit under the FCA ceases to be “pending” once it is dismissed. See also Falk v. Children’s Hosp. Los Angeles, 2015 WL 3895464 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) (American Pipe tolling doctrine precluded dismissal of claims subject to a three- or four-year limitations period); Escobedo v. Applebees, 2015 WL 3499902 (9th Cir. 2015) (the filing date of a complaint is the date it is delivered to the clerk, either with or without an application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”); it is an abuse of discretion to deny an IFP application based upon a spouse’s financial resources unless there is a reasonable inquiry into whether the spouse’s resources are actually available to the would-be plaintiff and whether the spouse in fact has sufficient funds to assist in paying the fee).