George Breen Quoted in “Medtronic Kickback Case Moving Forward in Pennsylvania”

Bloomberg Law: Health Law & Business

George B. Breen, Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices and Chair of the firm’s National Health Care and Life Sciences Practice Steering Committee, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Bloomberg Law: Health Law & Business, in “Medtronic Kickback Case Moving Forward in Pennsylvania,” by Matt Phifer.

Following is an excerpt:

Medtronic Inc. will have to answer questions about alleged kickbacks it gave to health-care providers to induce them to prescribe its devices.

A federal trial court in Pennsylvania ruled against the medical device company’s summary judgment motion, which argued the case shouldn’t continue because the allegations were already publicly known. Judge Edward Smith of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the whistleblower provided enough additional information to what was already known for the case to proceed. …

“In my view, taking the position a relator isn’t an agent in this context doesn’t support one of the intentions behind the public disclosure bar,” George Breen, an attorney at Epstein Becker Green in Washington who defends clients in health-care fraud litigation, told Bloomberg Law. He said that the idea behind the bar was so the government didn’t have to share a recovery if substantially the same allegations have already been disclosed and that this issue may be litigated further. …

“I don’t know if this court’s decision would change strategy in connection with pursuing a motion to dismiss or summary judgment with respect to public disclosure,” Breen told Bloomberg Law.