$256 MILLION QUI TAM SETTLEMENT
Joel Androphy and Sarah Frazier of Berg & Androphy along with Esdaile, Barrett, Jacobs & Mone, represented Ryan Uehling, one of the whistleblowers in a government settlement with Millennium Laboratories, a case that involved multiple qui tam actions in the United States District Court in Massachusetts. Millennium agreed to pay $256 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act for billing Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health care programs for medically unnecessary urine drug and genetic testing and for providing free items to physicians who agreed to refer expensive laboratory testing business to Millennium, the Justice Department announced today. Millennium, headquartered in San Diego, is one of the largest urine drug testing laboratories in the United States and conducts business nationwide. In connection with the False Claims Act settlements, Millennium has also entered into a corporate integrity agreement (CIA) with the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The investigation was conducted by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation branch, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Massachusetts, HHS-OIG and HHS’ Office of the General Counsel, CMS, the Office of Personnel and Management Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the FBI. According to the government’s press release, the claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
The False Claims Act allegations resolved were originally brought in lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private parties to bring suit on behalf of the government and to share in any recovery. Under the Act, the United States can elect to intervene in an action filed by a whistleblower, as it did, in part, with respect to several of the qui tam actions including Ryan Uehling’s, regarding urine drug testing allegations. The whistleblowers and the government will receive about $240MM from the False Claims Act recovery for the urine drug testing claims.
$31 MILLION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS AND GOVERNMENT
IN A CASE WHERE THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT INTERVENE
Joel Androphy, David Berg, Sarah Frazier, and Rachel Grier, with Esdaile, Barrett, Jacobs & Mone, won a settlement with drug manufacturer, Organon USA Inc., in two qui tam actions in the United States District Courts in Massachusetts and Texas. Organon agreed to settle allegations that it underpaid rebates to state Medicaid programs for several of its drugs, including Remeron, Remeron SolTab, NuvaRing,, Mircette, Cyclessa and Desogen, and that it offered improper financial incentives to nursing home pharmacy companies to induce prescriptions of its drugs, Remeron and Remeron SolTab. The settlement netted the clients and government approximately $31 million.
$1.9 MILLION SETTLEMENT IN WHISTLEBLOWER MILITARY FRAUD CASE
Frazier Masonry Corporation of Camarillo, California and other entities and individuals, agreed to pay nearly $1.9 million to settle civil allegations that they conspired to defraud the United States in connection with military construction projects at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and Camp Pendleton in California.
$2.3 MILLION SETTLEMENT IN WHISTLEBLOWER MEDICAID FRAUD CASE
Children’s Physician Services of South Texas, Driscoll Genetic Services, Center for Genetic Services, and Radiology Associates agreed to pay $2.3 million to settle civil allegations that they engaged in false or fraudulent conduct by double-billing the Texas Medicaid program, TRICARE, and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program for the professional reading and interpretation of genetic ultrasounds.
$880,000 FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS AND GOVERNMENT
Joel Androphy, Sarah Frazier, and Rachel Grier won a settlement with Baylor University Medical Center, Baylor Health Care System, and HealthTexas Provider Network (collectively Baylor) in a qui tam action in the United States District Court. Baylor agreed to settle civil charges that they engaged in false or fraudulent conduct by improperly billing federal healthcare programs for robotic stereotactic treatment delivery without corroboration of direct physician supervision and overbilling for services associated with stereotactic procedures without the necessary documentation in the medical record or as duplicative claims for services already performed and paid in conjunction with other services. The settlement netted the clients and government approximately $880,000.
$1.350 BILLION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS AND GOVERNMENT
Joel M. Androphy and Sarah Frazier represented one of the nine whistleblowers and won a settlement with Eli Lilly in a civil qui tam action in U.S. District Court. The case involved off-label marketing of the drug Zyprexa. This civil settlement netted the government and all whistleblowers about $750 million. The government will also receive an additional $600 millionin criminal fines.
$119 MILLION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS AND GOVERNMENT
Joel Androphy won a settlement with King Pharmaceuticals in a qui tam action in United States District Court. The case involved the underpayment of Medicaid rebates, false claims, and best price violations. This settlement netted the client and government about $119 million.
$45 MILLION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS AND GOVERNMENT
Joel Androphy won a settlement with Pfizer in a qui tam action in U.S. District Court. The case involved the underpayment of medicaid rebates, false claims and best price violations for the drug Lipitor. The settlement netted the client and government about $46 million.
$13.2 MILLION TO WHISTLEBLOWER AND GOVERNMENT
Joel Androphy, Sarah Frazier and Kathryn Nelson won a settlement with American Grocers in a qui tam action in United States District Court. The case involved the alteration of expiration dates on food products sent to American troops in the Middle East. The settlement netted the client and the government about $13.2 million. Read more about this case.
$1.78 MILLION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS AND GOVERNMENT
Joel Androphy and Sarah Frazier won a settlement with Rotech Healthcare, Inc. in a qui tam action in United States District Court. Rotech paid $2 million to settle civil charges that it engaged in false or fraudulent conduct in billing Medicare for durable medical equipment. The government declined intervention. This settlement netted the client and government about $1.78 million. The negotiated settlement amount was a reflection of Rotech’s stock price of 34 cents per share at the time of settlement, down from $21 in early 2004 when Ms. Bell-Messier filed suit.
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You should be aware that qui tam claims are subject to a Statute of Limitations. The area of limitations periods is complex. There are also first to file rules, public disclosure bars, original source issues, and varying limitations in pursuing retaliation claims. If you wish to pursue your claims, you should promptly seek the opinion of an attorney regarding the merits of your qui tam claim and the applicable statute of limitations.