Hooper v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 2012 WL 3124970 (9th Cir. 2012)

Nyle J. Hooper brought suit against Lockheed Martin under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act (the “FCA”). Hooper filed suit in the District Court for the District of Maryland, which transferred the suit at Lockheed’s request to the Central District of California on forum non conveniens grounds. The California district court granted summary judgment in favor of Lockheed on all grounds, but the Ninth Circuit reversed in part. The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in Lockheed’s favor of Hooper’s claims of fraudulent use of certain software and defective testing procedures because there is no genuine issue of material fact as to whether Lockheed “knowingly” submitted a false claim to the government regarding those issues. However, the Court reversed summary judgment of Hooper’s wrongful discharge claim because the district court erroneously applied California’s two-year statute of limitations rather than Maryland’s three-year statute. The Court also reversed the dismissal of Hooper’s claim that Lockheed violated the FCA by knowingly underbidding the contract at issue. See also Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals, 208 Cal. App. 4th 557 (2012) (whistleblower doctor need not exhaust administrative remedies before filing a whistleblower lawsuit under Health & Safety Code § 1278.5); Aguilar v. Goldstein, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1152 (2012) (anti-SLAPP motion was properly denied in response to plaintiff physicians’ breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit).