Boston Scientific Corp. was ordered by a judge to pay $68,400 in fees and expenses after being sanctioned for violations in a whistleblower lawsuit surrounding allegedly defective defibrillators.
The decision was handed down by U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung in Minneapolis, who ruled the sanctions were a good compromise between the requested $114,000 from whistleblower Steven Higgins and the company’s own offer of less than $32,000.
Higgins filed the lawsuit in 2011 under the False Claims Act, which allows private individuals to file a claim against companies on behalf of the federal government and then share in any recovery from enforcement actions.
Higgins was a doctor who served on the company’s advisory board. He claimed Boston Scientific concealed information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the Cognis CRT-D and Teligen ICD defibrillators from the company had major defects while the agency was determining whether they would be approved.
Leung issued sanctions in February 2020 against the company for a failure to include a pair of ex-employees on a list of individuals who would have information relevant to the case. This omission, according to the judge, was harmful to Higgins, and as such he ordered the company to pay Higgins’ fees as a penalty.
In many circumstances, information about false claims and healthcare fraud can only be uncovered when whistleblowers take action to report the information they have to the proper authorities. Healthcare fraud costs the United States billions of dollars every year, but it often goes unreported.
For more information about the steps you should take if you become aware of ongoing fraudulent schemes within a healthcare organization, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.