A False Claims Act whistleblower is entitled to nearly $ 260,000 in attorney’s fees and expenses for efforts that resulted in an underpaid wage settlement between Nagan Construction Inc., the federal government, and New York Construction projects went on, said a New York district court.
This rebound for Soner Yasti reflects reasonable hourly rates for partners of law firms that have a “significant amount of experience” prosecuting an FCA case in the southern borough of New York, Judge Analisa Torres said in a ruling Thursday.
Yasti has until April 18 to submit an additional application for fees and costs incurred after February 2020.
Yasti’s September 2017 lawsuit resulted in a $ 435,000 settlement between the federal government and Nagan in August 2019.
Nagan admitted staff were underpaid and misclassified thousands of hours worked on federally funded projects in New York, the Justice Department said.
Nagan regularly filed falsely authenticated payroll reports that misrepresented thousands of hours of skilled work as manual labor, the DOJ said.
These projects included a renovation contract for the US Merchant Marine Academy at Delano Hall at Kings Point and a renovation contract for the Job Corps Center in Bronx for the Department of Labor.
Yasti’s lawsuit also resulted in a $ 396,000 settlement between Nagan and New York.
Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP represented Yasti. King & King LLP represented Nagan.
The case is USA ex rel. Yasti v Nagan Constr., SDNY, No. 17-cv-7163, 3/18/21.