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Orthopaedic Clinics Settle Claims They Injected Unapproved Substances Into Patients

ATLANTA, Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bothwell Bracker congratulates the United States and the states of Tennessee and Virginia on their successful settlement with Defendants Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics and Appalachian Orthopaedic Associates. Defendants will pay more than $1.8 million to resolve allegations, brought by a client of Bothwell Bracker, that the clinics knowingly injected non-FDA approved biologics into the patients in Tennessee and Virginia.

The complaint alleged that Defendants injected unapproved viscosupplementation agents into patients, but billed for name-brands. Viscosupplementation agents—gel-like mixtures injected into knees of patients with osteoarthritis—are strictly regulated by the FDA to protect patient safety.

Relator was represented by nationally-recognized whistleblower attorneys, Mike Bothwell, Julie Bracker, and Jason Marcus of Bothwell Bracker, P.C. and by David Weissman of Hollins, Raybin & Weissman of Nashville. Bracker stated, "We are thankful that the Government attorneys and investigators sent the strong message that it is not OK to cut corners with people's health. FDA regulations are designed to ensure the safety of medical treatments. Defendants were circumventing all safeguards for quality, and the substitutions made in the name of profit led to hundreds if not thousands of people receiving injections of non-FDA approved substances into their bodies."

Federal and state False Claims Acts allow those with insider knowledge of fraud, waste, and abuse to bring an action on the governments' behalf and participate in the recovery. Such actions recover three times the amount stolen, in addition to civil penalties. Successful whistleblowers can receive up to thirty percent of that recovery.

The settlement was achieved through the coordinated efforts of a team of attorneys led by Douglas Rosenthal, Department of Justice; Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Bauknight of the Eastern District of Tennessee; Tennessee Assistant AG Eli Swiney; and Virginia Assistant AG Adele Neiburg. 

The case is United States ex rel. Estey v. Appalachian Orthopaedic Associates, P.C. et al., Civil Action No. 3:12-CV-85 (E.D. Tenn.).

Bothwell Bracker, P.C. has earned a national reputation for successful representation of whistleblowers across the country and is one of only a handful of firms exclusively representing whistleblowers. Bothwell Bracker's cases have resulted in recovery of more than $400 million for treasury and payment of millions of dollars in whistleblower rewards. Inquiries may be directed to Julie Bracker at (770) 643-1606, email [email protected].

For more information about the firm's attorneys, FCA settlements, and FCA experience, see www.whistleblowerlaw.com.


SOURCE Bothwell Bracker, P.C.

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