Jennifer McIntosh and Phyra McCandless, whistleblower attorneys at Girard Gibbs, co-wrote “Whistleblower Seeks Counsel: Practical Tips for Preparing a Qui Tam Case,” which was published in the Spring 2014 edition of the Women Trial Lawyers Caucus quarterly newsletter. More »

On January 8, 2014, Bloomberg News reported that a lawsuit filed on behalf of the government under the False Claims Act and various state false claims acts against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. and BioScrip, Inc. has been unsealed. The lawsuit, originally brought by a whistleblower, alleges that Novartis provided BioScrip kickbacks in exchange for BioScrip to convince Exjade patients to continue their refills. The lawsuit alleges that as a result of this illegal kickback scheme, Novartis and BioScrip defrauded Medicare and Medicaid of tens of millions of dollars in reimbursements. More »

On January 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that CareFusion Corp. has agreed to pay $40.1 million to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act. The government had sued the California medical device company for allegedly paying illegal kickbacks and improperly marketing its products for uses not approved by the FDA (off-label marketing). CareFusion manufactures and sells pharmaceutical products such as ChloraPrep. More »

According to The Wall Street Journal, Rural/Metro Corporation, a private ambulance company, agreed to pay the federal government over $2.8 million to settle civil claims that it fraudulently billed Medicare. The government alleged that from 2007 through 2011, Rural/Metro billed Medicare for emergency patient transportation trips even though the calls were not emergencies. By categorizing the trips as emergencies, the company was able to bill Medicare for substantially higher payments. Rural/Metro provides transportation services through its subsidiaries in twenty-one states. More »

On November 19, 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported that Ensign Group Inc. will pay $48 million to resolve lawsuit claims that it billed Medicare for unnecessary procedures performed on its patients. Ensign Group is a company in Mission Viejo, California that operates nursing homes in a number of states, primarily in the western United States. According to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) press release, the nursing facilities involved in the scheme were Atlantic Memorial Healthcare Center, Panorama Gardens, Orchard Post-Acute Care, Sea Cliff Healthcare Center, Southland, and Victoria Care Center, all located in California. More »

On November 20, 2013, Judge Michael J. Reagan denied Sears Holding Corporation’s (Sears) attempt to get claims that it violated the False Claims Act thrown out of court. Also before the Court was a motion to dispose of Sears’ fourteen affirmative defenses, all of which the Court granted. The case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. More »

On November 18, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release announcing that Baptist Health Systems has paid $3.675 million to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act by defrauding the Medicare program. Baptist Health is one of the largest health care providers in San Antonio, Texas. More »

The California Department of Insurance announced on November 4, 2013 that Sutter Health has agreed to pay $46 million to settle claims that it was including false and misleading anesthesia charges in its surgery bills. Trial was scheduled to begin in Sacramento Superior Court this month, reported local news source North Bay Business Journal. More »

On November 4, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiaries agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion to settle civil and criminal charges regarding off-label marketing, kickbacks, and false statements made about three of its drugs. According to CNN Money, over $167 million of the entire settlement will go to three whistleblowers who filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of the government under the False Claims Act (FCA). The settlement is the largest whistleblower payout in U.S. history and the third largest healthcare-related settlement, reported Bloomberg News. More »

On October 2, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina ordered Tuomey Healthcare System, Inc. to pay more than $237 million for violating the Stark Law and the False Claims Act (FCA). Judge Margaret B. Seymour affirmed a jury verdict that found that Tuomey violated the Stark Law and the FCA, and that 21,730 claims were falsely submitted to the government, amounting to over $39 million in actual damages. More »