French Medical Device Company Pays $2 Million to Settle Kickback Case

Medicrea International, a medical device manufacturer based in France, and its American affiliate Medicrea USA agreed to pay a total of $2 million to resolve allegations in a claim brought forth by a whistleblower.

The settlement includes:

  • $1 million to resolve whistleblower allegations that the companies violated the Anti-Kickback statute by entertaining American physicians at a conference in France in 2013
  • $1 million to resolve allegations that the companies violated the Open Payments Program in their failure to report these entertainment expenses to the appropriate American officials

Case background

According to the lawsuit, Medicrea allegedly provided meals, entertainment and alcoholic beverages to American physicians, and even paid for some travel expenses, for the Scoliosis Research Society’s September 2013 convention in Lyon. According to the government prosecutors, Medicrea allegedly provided those benefits to encourage and induce the invited doctors to purchase Medicrea’s medical devices, resulting in false payment claims to Medicare and Medicaid.

A whistleblower filed the lawsuit using the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. These provisions allow a private individual to file a lawsuit on behalf of the federal government and share in the ensuing recovery, should the federal government choose to intervene and take on the case. A certain portion of the collected sanctions will then be paid out to the whistleblower, with the amount of that compensation depending on the value of the case and of the whistleblower’s contributions.

For more information about False Claims Act cases and how to proceed with legal action when you are aware of wrongdoing within a company, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group.