Teva Pharmaceuticals False Claims Act Case Recently Settled For $54 Million
New York, N.Y. (January 30, 2020) – Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP is pleased to announce that the Honorable Colleen McMahon, Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, recently approved a whistleblower award of 29 percent of the $54 million settlement the firm and its co-counsel reached with Teva Pharmaceuticals (“Teva”) in a United States False Claims Act case the firm brought against the company.
The award, which is on the upper range of awards available under the False Claims Act, recognizes the efforts made by the firm’s clients Charles Arnstein and Hossam Senousy in “blowing the whistle” on Teva’s alleged wrongdoing and prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States and various states.
James E. Miller of SFMS stated: “We were pleased and gratified that the United States of America and the various states participating in the settlement recognized the hard work and contribution of our clients and ultimately agreed to recognize that contribution with an award few whistleblowers and their attorneys obtain. It was an honor and privilege to work closely with the Office of Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in resolving this important matter. The entire team at SFMS would like to specifically thank Pierre G. Armand, the Co-Chief of Civil Frauds Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Li Yu and Jessica Hu, as well as Carrie L. Bashaw, Senior Counsel of the State of Washington Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Kathryn M. Heim Harris, Special Assistant Attorney General of the New York Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, for their persistence and hard work on behalf of the United States of America and the various states participating in the settlement.”
The Whistleblowers were represented by SFMS and its co-counsel, Eric L. Young of McEldrew Young (https://www.mceldrewyoung.com), David J. Caputo and Joseph Trautwein of Youman & Caputo, LLC (https://youmancaputo.com), and Heidi A. Wendel (https://heidiwendellaw.com).
SFMS, on behalf of the Relators, filed the original qui tam complaint in May 2013. Relators alleged that Teva violated the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) by providing bogus speaking fees and honoraria to physicians through sham speaker programs in order to induce the physicians to prescribe the drugs Azilect and Copaxone. The complaint alleges that pharmacies filling these prescriptions then submitted claims for reimbursement to government-funded programs, resulting in payments by the government for prescriptions that were induced by fraud. Relators asserted that this alleged conduct opened Teva up to liability under both the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and the AKS, which criminalizes, among other things, “knowingly or willingly” offering or paying a person “remuneration,” in the form of kickbacks, bribes, or rebates, to “induce” that person to “recommend” the purchase of a drug covered by a “Federal health care program.” 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)(2).
Judge McMahon issued her order awarding 29 percent of the $54 million settlement on January 14, 2020.
Case citation: United States ex rel. Arnstein and Senousy v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. et al., No. 1:13-cv-03702-CM-OTW (S.D.N.Y.) For a copy of the order approving the award of 29 percent of the $54 million settlement, click here.
SFMS represents whistleblowers throughout the United States and on a global basis. Many whistleblower cases are brought under the FCA, which allows a private individual, known as a relator, to file a lawsuit on behalf of the United States government against a company that has perpetrated a fraud against the government. If a relator successfully recovers funds on behalf of the government, he or she may receive a reward of up to 30 percent depending on the circumstances of the case. SFMS has taken the lead in prosecuting some of the most important and significant cases in the United States regarding “speaker programs” and efforts by pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to influence the behavior of physicians, prescribers and other providers through allegedly unlawful payments.
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP has obtained billions of dollars in recoveries for its clients since its founding in 2002. Our attorneys have attended some of the best law schools in the country and have extensive experience in litigating cases against large and powerful companies. We maintain eight offices in the United States and two offices in Europe to serve our worldwide clients. SFMS has handled some of the most significant whistleblower cases in the United States and is increasingly recognized as one of the “go to” law firms when a whistleblower case needs to be litigated to trial.