As we have previously reported, our firm currently represents seven states where we have pending Medicaid fraud lawsuits. Additionally, there are several other states with whom we are consulting on issues relating to this ongoing litigation. Interestingly — and contrary to the drug manufacturer’s expectations — the much-criticized Alabama Supreme Court opinion on the Medicaid fraud issues (currently on rehearing) has fallen on deaf ears in other state and federal courts. Thus far no state or federal court has given any deference at all to the Alabama opinion. In fact, one state court judge commented:
Does it appear that the Alabama Supreme Court basically substituted its judgment for that of the jury on the factual issues?
Comments by Judge Roger L. Crittenden, Franklin Circuit Court in Kentucky as he disregarded the Alabama opinion and affirmed a verdict against Sandoz, Inc., for $27.7 million for the State of Kentucky. (October 2009)
In the State of Hawaii, Defendants Sandoz, Inc. and Watson both argued that the Alabama Supreme Court decision should be considered and asked the trial judge to dismiss the State of Hawaii’s claims based on the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision. But the judge disregarded its opinion in its entirety and denied both the Defendants’ motions for summary judgment, giving no deference at all to the Alabama Supreme Court opinion. The story is much the same in the federal court cases. No trial court, no appellate court, and no judge in this country has found any redeeming quality about the Alabama Court’s opinion. In fact, all have criticized it and disregarded it for good reason. Perhaps on rehearing the Justices on the Alabama Supreme Court will correct the actions they have taken.
So, the Medicaid fraud march continues. We have trials set in the State of Hawaii in January with GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis. We have a trial in the State of Kansas against AstraZeneca, Aventis and the Boehringer Ingelheim Companies in May 2010. We have another trial in the State of Hawaii against Mylan Pharmaceuticals in June of 2010 and in the State of Mississippi we have Watson, Sandoz, Abbott, Mylan and Forest set for trial in December 2010. Other trial dates will be set in the States of Alabama, Alaska, South Carolina, and Utah.
On the settlement front, we have recently aided Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood in settling with drug manufactures Baxter, Boehringer Ingelheim and Amgen/Immunex for over $13.4 million dollars. This brings Mississippi’s total settlement amount to date up to $28.4 million dollars. We are continuing to pursue other settlements with drug companies in the State of Mississippi.
There are other settlement discussions pending in other states that are not yet ripe for public announcement. We will keep our readers posted on any settlement news as it takes place.
It is most unfortunate that the people of the State of Alabama have to witness other states refill their coffers with settlement funds as a result of fraudulent conduct by the pharmaceutical industry and realize that our Supreme Court has sided with the drug companies. That meant Alabama didn’t receive some $274 million for its starving state budgets. This missed opportunity will only worsen in our state unless the Justices withdraw the current opinion and issue an opinion affirming what three juries have already decided – that Alabama is owed $274 million dollars by pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis. I ask this question: how can the conduct of a drug company like AstraZeneca be considered fraud in the criminal courts and it not be civil fraud in Alabama? Do you believe a company that was not guilty of Medicaid fraud would plead guilty and pay a fine to the federal government of $570 million?
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.