In addition to their successful resolution of matters for corporate clients, firm attorneys have been lead counsel for whistleblowers in many of the most prominent cases brought under the Federal and State False Claims Act and have achieved historic victories. A sampling of their successes is listed below:
Celgene Corporation, $280 million
U.S. ex rel. Brown v. Celgene Corporation
Central District of California
GBB recovered $280 million in a non-intervened False Claims Act case against Celgene Corporation on the eve of trial. The Complaint alleged that Celgene unlawfully marketed its drugs Thalomid and Revlimid, including for unsafe and ineffective uses, and subverted independent judgment of medical professionals through false and misleading promotion. The Complaint also alleged that Celgene paid kickbacks to medical professionals to prescribe and recommend Celgene’s drugs in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute. The settlement is the second largest in a non-intervened case brought under the False Claims Act.
Abbott Labs, $1.6 billion
U.S. ex rel. McCoyd v. Abbott Laboratories
Western District of Virginia
The firm’s attorneys, in conjunction with state and federal governments, pursued claims again Abbot Laboratories, alleging that Abbot unlawfully marketed its anti-epileptic drug, Depakote, to children and nursing home patients. Their efforts on behalf of the lead whistleblower lead to a $1.6 billion recovery for federal and state governments, one of the largest recoveries under the False Claims Act in a pharmaceutical case involving a single drug, as well as the institution of a corporate integrity agreement that places compliance burdens on Abbott’s corporate management.
Community Health Systems, $97 million
U.S. ex rel. Doghramji, et al. v. Community Health Systems Inc., et al.
Middle District of Tennessee
Firm attorneys represented three relators in a case alleging healthcare fraud by Tennessee-based company Community Health Systems, Inc. (“CHS”). The scheme to defraud the Medicare system jeoparized patients safety by unnecessarily hospitalizing patients and preventingpatients suffering from true emergencies from receiving adequate care. CHS paid $97 million to resolve accusations that CHS emergency rooms in 120 hospitals systematically admitted patients not suffering from any emergency who should have been treated in an out-patient setting to capitalize on increased cost of reimbursement for emergency services and cheat federal and state insurance plans out of millions.
GlaxoSmithKline, $1.04 billion
U.S. ex rel. Graydon v. GlaxoSmithKline
District of Massachusetts
Firm attorneys served as lead counsel for whistleblowers alleging that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) engaged in illegal promotion of the company’s popular asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) medication, Advair. The case culminated in a $1.04 billion recovery for the federal and state governments.
Pfizer, $2.3 billion
U.S. ex rel. Demott v. Pfizer
District of Massachusetts
Firm attorneys represented one of six whistleblowers who revealed information to the government that resulted in an overall $2.3 billion recovery for the federal and state governments.
Pfizer (Rapamune), $257.4 million
U.S. ex rel. Sandler and Paris v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer, Inc.
The firm’s attorneys served as lead counsel for two whistleblowers who alleged marketing abuses of Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth Pharmaceutical’s immunosuppressant drug Rapamune. After initially declining to participate in the case, the Justice Department ultimately intervened after being presented with the strength of the evidence uncovered by the Firm’s attorneys and their clients. The case culminated in a $257.4 million settlement, one of the largest False Claims Act recoveries for a single drug. The settlement agreement noted the broad scope of Wyeth’s alleged unlawful marketing of Rapamune, including the knowing promotion of Rapamune for uses that were not approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company also pled guilty to a violation of the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act and entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Amgen, $24.9 million
U.S. ex rel. Kurnik v. Amgen, Inc., et al.
District of South Carolina
Firm attorneys represented Relator Frank Kurnik, in a case where pharmaceutical giant Amgen was alleged to have paid kickbacks to long-term care pharmacies to place elderly patients in nursing homes across the nation on the company’s anemia drug, Aranesp, often without concern for the patient’s best interest or therapeutic appropriateness. The drug, one of several Erythropoetin stimulating agents (ESAs) on the market, was developed to treat patients with severe anemia whose lives were endangered from receiving frequent blood transfusions. Amgen entered into a $24.9 million settlement with the government to resolve these claims.
Pasha, $13 million
U.S. ex rel. Bunk v. Pasha, et al.
Eastern District of Virginia
Bank of America, $95 million
U.S. ex rel. Szymoniak v. Bank of America, et al.
District of South Carolina / Western District of North Carolina