Question of the Week — Should institutions return past donations from Big Pharma executives and their family members implicated in the opioid crisis?
The New York Times recently reported that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has decided to stop accepting gifts from members of the Sackler family linked to Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, one of the drugs at the center of the opioid epidemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans in the past two decades. The Met’s decision follows that of other museums and universities, including the Tate Modern, the...
Catch of the Week — Bosch Fined $100 Million Over Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Scandal
German prosecutors fined Bosch $100 million for its role in the 2015 Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. The fine was imposed for negligent violation of supervisory obligations resulting from the use of Bosch software to mask illegal pollution levels in diesel-engine vehicles.
Bosch, the world’s largest automotive supplier, developed the engine management control software used to provide emissions testers with...
Second Relator to File Wins First-to-File Fight in First Circuit
After Millennium Health agreed in 2015 to pay $227 million plus interest to settle claims that it submitted false claims bills for excessive urine testing, $34 million – 15% of the total – was set aside to resolve the competing claims of more than seven different relators who had filed qui tam cases against Millennium that were dismissed as part of the settlement. Since that time, several of the relators have...
Question of the Week — Did the Flint Jury Get it Right in Natasha Henderson’s Whistleblower Retaliation Case?
In yet another chapter of Flint, Michigan’s ongoing water crisis saga, a jury sided with the city and against its former City Administrator, Natasha Henderson, in a whistleblower retaliation case regarding water crisis donations. Henderson alleged she was fired by Mayor Karen Weaver for questioning Weaver’s use of the donations. Weaver claimed she fired Henderson after she learned Henderson was warned of a...
Whistleblowers Win One in Supreme Court with Clarification on Statute of Limitations for False Claims Act Actions
In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court affirmed that the False Claims Act’s statute of limitations applies in the same manner to all whistleblower-initiated actions, regardless of whether the United States has intervened in the action or not. The decision resolves a three-way split among the federal circuit courts.
In the underlying litigation, U.S. ex rel. Hunt v. Cochise...
Silicon Valley-based software company Informatica LLC will pay $21.57 million to resolve allegations that it provided false information about its commercial pricing and discounting practices that was then used in negotiations for Multiple Award Schedule contracts with the General Services Administration. In addition, Informatica was alleged to have caused sales to the U.S. in violation of the Trade Agreements Act. The whistleblower, a former employee of Informatica, will receive $4.3 million from the settlement. DOJ
Fraud in GSA Contracts: How to Report it Under the False Claims Act for a Whistleblower Reward
Federal government offices purchase all the products and services any office does: office supplies, telecommunications equipment and services, computer hardware and software, consulting services, vehicles, travel services, and so on. The General Services Administration is the centralized procurement arm for the federal government, overseeing tens of billions of dollars in procurement annually, as well as handling...
British fashion company Selective Marketplace Ltd., which sells products in the U.S. under its brand names Wrap London and Poetry, will pay $610,000, to resolve a whistleblower suit under the False Claims Act alleging that it improperly broke up U.S.-bound orders into multiple shipments in order to keep the shipment values below the $200 limit that would obligate the payment of customs duties. The whistleblowers, Kristin and Stephen Vale, will receive a share of the settlement proceeds. USAO ME
Constantine Cannon partner Gordon Schnell is quoted in Law360 on the implications of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to extend from 6 to 10 years the statute of limitations for whistleblowers bringing suit under the False Claims Act. Click here to read the article.
Question of the Week — Should the CEO Be Held Accountable?: Lessons from the Insys verdict.
In a shocking first, a federal jury has convicted an opioid-company CEO and other top executives of a criminal racketeering conspiracy. Insys founder and chairman John Kapoor and four other executives bribed doctors to overprescribe a highly addictive fentanyl painkiller, and ran a phony call-center to defraud insurance companies into paying for the expensive drug. Although the company itself had already paid over...