James, Hoyer, Newcomer & Smiljanich, P.A.

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James, Hoyer, Newcomer & Smiljanich, P.A. (James Hoyer) is a Tampa, Florida-based law firm that focuses on whistleblower (qui tam) cases as well as consumer class action lawsuits.[1] The firm was founded in 1992 by former State Attorney for Hillsborough County Bill James, former federal prosecutors, and retired FBI agents.[2] Since its founding, James Hoyer has helped return more than $3 billion to consumers and taxpayers who were victims of fraud.[3] The St. Petersburg Times once called James Hoyer one of Tampa’s most successful law firms.[4]

Members of the James Hoyer firm operate the Consumer Warning Network.[5]

Notable Cases[edit]

In 1994, MetLife agreed to pay $42.75 million in refunds to 18,000 customers after James Hoyer, along with co-counsel, brought suit against the company for using misleading tactics to sell life insurance as a retirement or savings plan.[6] MetLife also agreed to pay a $20-million fine to insurance regulators across the country in relation to the lawsuit.[6] The 18,000 MetLife customers received an average of about $2,200 in refunds and interest, for a total payout by Met Life of $39,600,000. The attorney's fees paid by Met Life for the multi-year litigation, approved by the Court, was $2.75 million, according to the New York Times article.[6] Met Life also agreed to change the fraudulent practices it had been accused of.[6]

In 2000, James Hoyer helped negotiate a $206 million class action settlement with insurer American General Corp., on behalf of thousands of African American customers who were systematically overcharged due to their race for small “burial” policies.[7]

In 2005, James Hoyer helped secure $52 million in new funding for Florida's elderly in nursing homes.[8] The firm fully funded all the costs of the litigation and donated all of the legal time.[8] James Hoyer received the Chair's Honor Award from the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar for the firm's efforts.[8]

In 2006, James Hoyer helped secure a class action settlement in which Allstate Insurance Co. agreed to change the way it uses credit reports in setting auto and homeowners insurance policies.[9]

In 2008, James Hoyer was recognized by the Florida Bar for securing a $295,000 cy pres award for The Florida Bar Foundation.[10] The Florida Bar Foundation is the only statewide organization in Florida that provides funding for Legal Aid and promotes improvements in addressing the civil legal needs of the poor.[11]

In 2010, The Wall Street Journal reported on the firm's use of social media to connect with students of Westwood College, a for-profit school which the firm was pursuing litigation.[12] The Journal also reported that Westwood College had filed a suit against James Hoyer, alleging defamation through "new media Internet weapons".[12]

In 2012, James Hoyer represented one of four whistleblowers in a qui tam case against WellCare Health Plans, Inc that resulted in a $137.5 million settlement.[13] The lawsuits alleged a number of schemes to submit false claims to Medicare and various Medicaid programs.[13]

In 2014, James Hoyer represented a whistleblower in a qui tam case against Endo Pharmaceuticals that resulted in a $193 million settlement.[14] The lawsuit alleged that the makers of the Lidoderm Patch were marketing the pain reliever for unapproved uses.[14]


External links[edit]