Earlier this month, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss a qui tam action against it. The court held that the relator failed to state a claim with the required particularity.
Robert Lauricia filed the qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA) against Stryker Corporation. Mr. Lauricia’s complaint alleged that Stryker was engaged in a kickback scheme with Dr. Hari K. Parvateneni. The scheme involved Dr. Parvateneni’s agreement to use Stryker’s medical devices for implantation into Medicare patients in exchange for Stryker’s agreements to fund the training of Parvateneni’s residents and research projects. Mr. Lauricia alleged that since Parvateneni and Stryker engaged in the illegal kickback scheme, any claims submitted for reimbursement from Medicare were violations of the FCA.
The defendants’ motion to dismiss was granted by the district court. The court expressed that the allegations failed to state a claim for relief as the relationship between the defendants was neutral on its face, with Mr. Lauricia failing to produce any specific conduct that would render it illegal. The court also noted that the claim failed to allege the time or place of the alleged misrepresentations, any injury resulting from the alleged fraud, or even a single particular fraudulent claim.
However, the district court granted Mr. Lauricia 21 days from the date of the opinion to amend the complaint.
For more information on false claims and the anti-kickback statutes, please visit www.wachler.com or contact a Wachler & Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.