Today, Judge Sullivan remanded to New York state court a case against MLB brought by a former Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds player Neiman Nix.  The complaint alleged that MLB investigators spread misinformation about Nix’s player training academy and “sports science testing facility” in Florida, and included claims for defamation, tortious interference, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Judge Sullivan dismissed the sole federal claim under the CFAA at the plaintiff’s behest, despite the defendants’ argument that plaintiffs’ position was solely intended to defeat federal jurisdiction.  Judge Sullivan found that while forum manipulation was frowned upon, it did not require the court to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction after all federal claims had been dismissed:
Continue Reading Judge Sullivan: Plaintiff Can Voluntarily Drop Federal Claim to Get Back in State Court

In an opinion last week, Judge Sullivan concluded that the False Claims Act did not allow a “relator” (a private citizen suing on behalf of the government for fraud against the government) who voluntarily dismissed his case to share in the proceeds from a case that the government later filed on its own.

The False Claim Act states that, when a relator brings a claim, the government may choose whether to intervene and take over the case, or may “may elect to pursue its claim through any alternate remedy available,” and in either case the relator should typically share in the recovery.  The relator argued that the government’s separate litigation was an “alternate remedy,” but Judge Sullivan, while acknowledging the issue was one of first impression in the Second Circuit, disagreed:
Continue Reading Judge Sullivan: Qui Tam Plaintiff Who Voluntarily Dismisses Case Cannot Share in Proceeds from Settlement of Later-Filed Government Case