Posted September 9th, 2014.
Sanford Heisler LLP announced September 4 that U.K.-based medical device manufacturer Smith & Nephew has agreed to settle a qui tam suit and pay the United States government $8 million.
The United States government declined to intervene in the lawsuit;
Sam Cox, the plaintiff, opted to litigate the case without the assistance of the Justice Department.
Sanford Heisler represented Cox, who sued Smith & Nephew in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act for violating the Trade Agreements Act (TAA).
The TAA requires government contractors to certify that they will only sell products to the government that originate in the United States or a country that has signed a trade agreement with the United States.
Smith & Nephew violated the TAA by selling products that were manufactured in Malaysia, which is a country that has not executed a trade agreement with the United States, the suit alleged.
This is the first TAA settlement involving a medical device company.
David Sanford, chairman of Sanford Heisler, said the settlement represents the right result for all parties and it “reaffirms the vital role that whisleblowers play in uncovering fraud against the government.”
Sanford Heisler has previously represented whistleblowers in a $124 million qui tam settlement with Omnicare, Inc., a $762 million global qui tam settlement with Amgen, Inc., and a $23.5 million qui tam settlement with Medtronic.