SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Qui Tam ("Whistleblower") attorney Mychal Wilson, Esq. announces that Medtronic, the world's largest maker of medical devices, has agreed to pay the United States $9.9 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 Medtronic. This resolution was announced 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).
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 (attorney Catherine Swann and her staff, fraud expert David Poulson and paralegal Cassie Christensen), our expert cardiologists, and healthcare industry informants for the great teamwork."
Attorney Mychal Wilson said, "This settlement is a 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 alleged in this matter, for receiving kickbacks such as tickets to sporting events or for referral business in violation of the Federal False Claims Act. 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 for the implantation of Cardiac Rhythm Disease and Management ("CDRM") devices to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid, which wastes American taxpayer dollars."
"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 (United States ex rel. Wilson v. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Civil Action No. 06-12195-NG) (D. Mass).
"As an experienced former BMS cardiovascular and diabetes pharmaceutical sales representative, I have witnessed that kickbacks such as tickets to sporting events 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 and Catherine Swann and staff fraud expert David Poulson and paralegal Cassie Christensen), California Deputy Attorney General (attorneys Brian Frankel, Adelina Berumen and Erika Hiramatsu), 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. Schroeder v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 2:09-cv-0279 WBS EJB (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 the Qui Tam bar Taxpayers Against Fraud (http://www.taf.org). Additionally, Mychal Wilson is an entertainment attorney and media personality who serves as a legal analyst national television.
SOURCE The Law Office of Mychal Wilson