LOS ANGELES, Nov. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrity Qui Tam ("Whistleblower") and Entertainment attorney Mychal Wilson, Esq. announces that Biotronik, Inc, the affiliate of German device making Company Biotronik SE & Co. KG, has agreed to pay the United States $4.9 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that the company used various types of payments to induce physicians to implant pacemakers and defibrillators manufactured and sold by Biotronik.
This Qui Tam settlement resolves allegations that Biotronik, through the payment of kickbacks to physicians, caused hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to submit false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for the implantation of Biotronik pacemakers, defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices. This resolution was announced today by the United States Department of Justice.
The settlement ends a federal whistleblower suit filed in Eastern District of California by the legal team of Mychal Wilson, Esq. (www.mychalwilsonesq.com) and Co-counsels Brooks Cutter and JR Parker of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP (www.kcrlegal.com). The legal team also recently recovered $9.9 million for the American taxpayer in the settled Medtronic matter: U.S. ex rel. Schroeder v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 2:09-cv-0279 WBS EJB (E.D. Cal.).
Attorney Wilson said, "I would like to thank and congratulate our courageous and conscientious client for bringing justice on behalf of the United States government. We owe this individual an enormous amount of gratitude and respect. Additionally, I would like to thank our legal team, including certified fraud examiner Andy Prough, the Justice Department's Civil Division (attorney Adam Schwartz), the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California (attorneys Kelli Taylor, Catherine Swann and their staff, fraud expert David Poulson and paralegal Cassie Christensen), the Office of the Inspector General, the FBI, our expert cardiologists, and healthcare industry informants for the great teamwork."
Attorney Mychal Wilson said, "This settlement is another landmark for exposing this issue against a leading medical device company. It's very important that patients ask their physicians if they have received any money or anything of value from pharmaceutical or medical device companies. Especially, as in this matter, where Biotronik allegedly induced electrophysiologists and cardiologists practicing in Nevada and Arizona to continue using Biotronik devices, or to convert to Biotronik devices, by paying the implanting physician in the form of expensive restaurant meals and inflated payments for membership on a physician advisory board without proper documentation of any specific work performed.
“In my opinion, these type of improper business arrangements in the practice of medicine need to immediately cease. Not only do kickbacks put patients in harm's way, but they cause false claims such as the implantation of Cardiac Rhythm Disease and Management ("CDRM") devices to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid, which wastes American taxpayer dollars and are a violation of the False Claims Act,” said attorney Wilson.
"Essentially, you may want to seek a second or even a third opinion before committing to any invasive surgery," said attorney Wilson, a former pharmaceutical rep turned successful whistleblower in the 2007 $515 million DOJ settlement against the pharmaceutical industry giant Bristol-Myers Squibb ("BMS") which inspired him to fight for the rights of other whistleblowers (U.S. ex rel. Wilson v. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Civil Action No. 06-12195-NG) (D. Mass).
Additionally, Mychal Wilson is a relator, along with former Los Angeles Laker and co-relator Lucius Allen in the groundbreaking California health insurance fraud case against his former employer Bristol-Myers Squibb (The State of California ex rel. Michael Wilson et al. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., BC367873).
"As an experienced former BMS cardiovascular and diabetes pharmaceutical sales representative, I have witnessed that kickbacks such as repeated meals at expensive restaurants are often provided to physicians to induce drug prescriptions. I learned that improper financial incentives to prescribe drugs or implant medical devices potentially cloud the sound medical judgment of the physician," argues Wilson.
Attorney Wilson says, "Along with resources such as the Physicians Payment Sunshine Act, patients should check to see if their healthcare provider has received payments or items of value from drug and/or device companies. In today's digital world, patients can cross-check medical references on websites sites like www.propublica.org."
This settlement is the result of a coordinated and collaborative investigation between the legal team of Mychal Wilson, Esq., Co-counsels Brooks Cutter and JR Parker of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP, certified fraud examiner Andy Prough, expert cardiologists, healthcare industry insiders coupled with the Justice Department's Civil Division (attorneys Jamie Yavelberg and Adam Schwartz), the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California (attorneys Benjamin Wagner, Kelli Tucker, Catherine Swann and staff fraud expert David Poulson and paralegal Cassie Christensen), California Deputy Attorney General (attorneys Brian Frankel, Adelina Berumen and Erika Hiramatsu), Nevada Senior Deputy Attorney General Donna R. Rohwer, the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the FBI.
The lawsuit is captioned United States ex rel. Sant v. Biotronik, Inc., and Western Medical, Inc. 2:09 - 03617 KJM EFB (E.D. Cal.). The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
Attorney Mychal Wilson has a growing Qui Tam Law practice with several ongoing cases under investigation. Mychal Wilson, Esq. is a member of the State Bar of California and admitted to practice in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern District Courts of California. Mychal Wilson is a member of the Qui Tam bar Taxpayers Against Fraud (http://www.taf.org).
Additionally, Mychal Wilson is an entertainment attorney and media personality who regularly serves as a legal analyst on national cable television. Mychal also recently played divorce counsel on WETV's hit reality series Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas:
SOURCE The Law Office of Mychal Wilson