Whistleblower and Qui Tam
CDM Smith, Inc./CDM Federal Programs Corporation False Claims Act Lawsuit – $5.65 Million Settlement
Relator Vincent Bevilacqua, a former employee of CDM Smith, alleged that CDM Smith and CDM Federal Programs Corporation engaged in a scheme to submit inaccurate cost and labor hour estimates and related certifications in a contract with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic.
The Relator’s Complaint alleges that in 2013, Roche paid Humana a kickback in exchange for Humana placing Roche’s diabetes testing products on its Medicare Advantage formularies.
According to settlement documents in a qui tam case against California-based network security company Fortinet, Inc., the relator represented by Sanford Heisler Sharp was awarded 19% of the $545,000 the company was fined for selling equipment made in China to the U.S. Government.
Aurora Behavioral Healthcare – Santa Rosa, LLC and Signature Healthcare Services, LLC Whistleblower Retaliation Lawsuit
The suit characterizes Aurora and Signature as routinely prioritizing profits over the care and rights of patients and hospital staff at their Santa Rosa location, which provides inpatient, partial hospitalization and outpatient mental health services to adults and adolescents.
Mr. Yasti, a former employee of Nagan Construction, alleged that Nagan systematically failed to comply with the terms of its construction contracts with the federal and New York State Governments that required the company to pay its workers the prevailing wage under the Davis-Bacon Act and related laws.
The Complaint alleges that Navistar used false and misleading documents to support alleged “commercial prices” of vehicle components, including the chassis, engines, and suspension systems.
Relator asserts that between December 2004 until 2015, Bon Secours Health System, Inc., Bon Secours New York Health System and Schervier Long Term Home Health Care Program defrauded Medicaid and Medicare by filing millions of dollars in false claims for home health services provided to elderly and homebound patients.
Sanford Heisler Sharp brought a whistleblower/qui tam matter against AtriCure, Inc, (“AtriCure”), a medical device manufacturer. Subsequently, AtriCure agreed to pay $4.15 million to resolve all claims against it. The Complaint charged that AtriCure violated the Federal False Claims Act by using illegal kickbacks and an off-label marketing campaign to induce doctors and hospitals to perform AtriCure’s costly inpatient cardiac surgical ablation procedures rather than standard, and more effective outpatient catheter ablation procedures. As a result, the Medicare program faced substantially increased costs from AtriCure’s unnecessary and expensive procedures.
Sanford Heisler Sharp brought a whistleblower/qui tam matter against Oce North America and Oce Imagistics, a manufacturer of printers and document management systems. Subsequently, Oce agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve civil claims in connection with allegations that it sold printing products to the United States Government that were manufactured in non-designated countries and that it failed to offer them at the reduced rates that non-government customers enjoy.
The settlement resolved allegations that Estech marketed its medical devices to treat atrial fibrillation, a use not approved by the FDA. Allegations also involved Estech’s promoting of expensive heart surgeries using the company’s devices when less invasive alternatives were appropriate; advising hospitals to up-code surgical procedures using the company’s devices to inflate Medicare reimbursements; and paying of kickbacks to healthcare providers to use its devices.
The whistleblower alleged that the San Diego-based Scripps Health System unlawfully billed the United States Government for physical therapy services on behalf of a physician who was not present while the services were rendered. The case claimed that Scripps persisted in this conduct despite warnings from the whistleblower.
The whistleblower (“relator”) who was represented by Sanford Heisler Sharp one of several relators who took part in the Government’s investigation, had been employed as an oncology pharmaceutical sales representative for Amgen from 2002 through 2005. In 2007, the relator filed suit against her.
The case is thought to be the first in New York to recover money for the United States government based on the defendant’s failure to properly mark its products with their country of origin.
Sanford Heisler Sharp along with Aashish Y. Desai of the Desai Law Firm, P.C., represented Relator Monique Gipson, who sued San Diego-based Pathway Genomics in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California under the whistleblower provisions of the federal False Claims Act, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and the relevant provisions of the false claims acts of the states and the District of Columbia pertaining to healthcare fraud. Gipson was a former sales representative at Pathway Genomics with first-hand knowledge of the company’s wrongdoing.
Sanford Heisler Sharp a leading public interest law firm, teamed with three other law firms in settling a whistleblower (“qui tam”) lawsuit Omnicare, Inc. (NYSE: OCR), the nation’s largest provider of pharmacy services to nursing home patients. Under the agreement, Omnicare has agreed to pay the United States $120 million to resolve kickback and false-claims allegations brought by Donald Gale, an Ohio pharmacist who worked for the company’s Wadsworth, Ohio pharmacy from 1993 until 2010.
Sanford Heisler Sharp brought whistleblower claims on behalf of Dr. Antoni Nargol and Dr. David Langton, two physicians and researchers who were first to uncover that medical-device company DePuy Orthopaedics manufactured and sold large numbers of defective hip implants to the government.
Sanford Heisler Sharp successfully represented Dana Ohlmeyer, a psychologist in the New York City public schools, in the case of Ohlmeyer ex rel. United States of America v. City of New York, a whistleblower action brought pursuant to the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. Sections 3729-33. In her complaint, Relator Ohlmeyer alleged that between 2001 to 2004 the City of New York Department of Education (“DOE”) submitted false claims to Medicaid for psychological counseling services to special education students in the New York City public schools. After intervention by the United States, the City settled the lawsuit in January 2014 for $1,375,000.
Sanford Heisler Sharp won a $11.3 million qui tam settlement against Smith & Nephew one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Smith & Nephew violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA.
U.S. ex rel. Simmons v. Meridian (M.D. Tenn.) – $5.1 Million Settlement U.S. Ex Rel Simmons v. Meridian M.D. Tenn
Sanford Heisler Sharp won a $5.1 million qui tam settlement against Meridian Surgical Partners LLC, an investor in an Ambulatory Surgical Center (“ASC”). The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Meridian violated the federal Anti-Kickback statute and the False Claims Act by paying unlawful remuneration to ambulatory surgical center (“ASC”) owners to physicians to induce referrals of patients to ASCs.
United States ex rel. Sherwin v. Office Depot (Los Angeles County Superior Court) – $68 Million Settlement
The whistleblower, represented by Altomease Kennedy and California co-counsels, alleged that Office Depot violated the California False Claims Act by overcharging numerous governmental entities, including the city and county of Los Angeles, for office and classroom supplies, and failing to offer them the company’s “best price.” The city of Los Angeles received the largest settlement allocation of more than $11 million.
Sanford Heisler Sharp won a more than $4.4 million qui tam settlement against Medtronic, Inc., one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Medtronic violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA.