On February 5th, the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee held a hearing on A4041, which would make provisions of the “New Jersey False Claims Act” retroactive under certain circumstances.
The bill, which is being sponsored by Assembly Members Conaway (D-7) and Singleton (D-7) would allow certain litigants to file claims under the New Jersey False Claims Act for actions that occurred before the Act’s 2008 adoption.
The bill is probably unconstitutional since the retroactive application of legislation is frequently found to violate the Ex Post Facto clause of the U.S. Constitution, but if it is constitutional, it puts companies that do business with the State of New Jersey in serious danger of unfair and unjust litigation abuse. If fact, NJCJI opposed the enactment of New Jersey’s False Claims Act itself in 2008 because of the litigation that it creates.
Though several organizations testified against the bill, and only the lawyer of a dentist who stands to benefit from the bill testified in favor, the committee voted along party lines to advance it to the full Assembly for a vote.