Navigation Links
Businessman Exposed Problems With Quest Subsidiary's Blood Test Kits; Led to $302 Million Settlement
Date:4/15/2009

NEW YORK, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The impetus for the massive federal investigation that led to today's $302 million settlement by Quest Diagnostics Inc. was a "qui tam" (whistleblower) lawsuit filed by a California businessman and biochemist, the government revealed today.

The qui tam lawsuit provided detailed allegations about problems with medical test kits that a Quest subsidiary, Nichols Institute Diagnostics Inc. (NID), manufactured and sold to medical testing labs across the country from 2000 to 2006 despite complaints of inaccurate test results, putting the health of hundreds of thousands of dialysis patients at risk.

As a result of the faulty tests, the lawsuit said, some dialysis patients underwent unnecessary surgery to remove their parathyroid and were administered unnecessary treatment that can cause a painful, deadly disease. Today's settlement covers claims that the bad tests led to overtreatment and unnecessary surgeries.

The "qui tam" (whistleblower) lawsuit was kept under seal and unknown to the public until today when a federal judge approved the settlement and the Justice Department announced it.

The settlement is the largest one ever paid by a medical lab company for a faulty product. Previous large Medicare fraud settlements paid by lab companies involved billing practices. The settlement includes $253 million to settle the qui tam lawsuit, $9 million to settle other civil lab claims and $40 million to settle a felony criminal charge.

As a result of the government's investigation into the NID test kits, Quest shut down its 30-year-old profitable subsidiary in 2006. At the time, NID was the leading manufacturer of kits used to conduct certain essential blood tests for dialysis patients.

Thomas Cantor, founder, president and owner of Scantibodies Laboratory Inc., filed the qui tam lawsuit against Quest and NID in 2004 in federal district court in Brooklyn, New York. His qui tam lawsuit alleged Quest and NID were defrauding the government by causing healthcare providers to bill Medicare and other federal healthcare programs for faulty medical tests as well as unnecessary and harmful vitamin D drugs to treat inaccurately diagnosed diseases and unnecessary surgeries.

For Cantor, the most important reason to file a qui tam lawsuit was that the False Claims Act requires the government to investigate allegations made in a qui tam lawsuit. After he presented to government investigators his evidence about NID's inaccurate PTH tests and his concerns about danger to dialysis patients, Cantor recalled, an FBI agent told him, "I promise you that we will make it stop."

"I felt very frustrated when I tried to stop the use of faulty tests on my own," Cantor said. "Thanks to the False Claims Act and the government's work on my case, this is a good day for dialysis patients and for clinicians who rely on accurate test results."

Attorney Kelton offered high praise for the work done by the government team on the case, particularly Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Kaufman.

"Paul Kaufman and the team of government lawyers and investigators did a superb job pursuing this case in an efficient and effective manner," Kelton said. "When we filed our case, they recognized immediately the threat to dialysis patients and moved swiftly to protect them."

Whistleblowers are entitled to 15 percent to 25 percent of the amount the government recovers as a result of their qui tam lawsuits. The government will award Cantor 18 percent of the $253-million qui tam settlement as a reward for the information he provided and the work he and his attorneys did on the case. Cantor will use the reward to fund research into antibody therapies to treat drug-resistant infections, HIV and hepatitis.

Phillips & Cohen is the nation's most successful law firm representing whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act. Cases brought by the firm's attorneys have returned more than $3 billion to the U.S. Treasury. For more information, see www.phillipsandcohen.com.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Phillips & Cohen LLP
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Queensland businessman is one in a million
2. UGA study: Youth exposed to smokeless tobacco ads despite settlement
3. Research finds allergic children exposed to peanuts at younger ages despite recommendations to avoid
4. Many Babies Exposed to Chemicals
5. Short RNA strand helps exposed skin cells protect body from bacteria, dehydration and even cancer
6. Girls and children exposed to tobacco smoke benefit more from montelukast (singulair)
7. Newborns in Intensive Care Often Exposed to Pain
8. Exploitation of Residents at Wasserstein and Lazard-linked Senior Care Facilities Exposed
9. Health Hazards in Household Cleaners Exposed
10. Bed net usage increases, but 90 million African children still exposed to malaria
11. Newborns exposed to maternal smoking more irritable, difficult to soothe
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Intermedix announced on Wednesday ... , an emergency medicine professional association, to support the organization's newly established physician ... Academy of Emergency Medicine, or AAEM, seeks to empower emergency physicians to control ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Dr. Peyman Ghasri, skin doctor ... variety of comprehensive procedures for facial enhancement. The treatments now available at Castle ... and nasal reshaping. , As a result, patients can improve virtually every ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Gout is like no other ... that is often severe, with intense swelling and redness. It is triggered by the ... but older adults are the most susceptible, according to the February 2016 issue of ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... For additional information contact Phyllis Strupp 480-488-5858 , ... with Age: The Ultimate Guide to Brain Training" by award-winning author Phyllis Strupp ... publication date is March 16, 2016. A free review copy is available to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224, February 26th: Amateur & Professional Divisions ... Division - Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm | Ticket Prices $30, Social Media: ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016 Intouch Solutions, a leading marketing ... industry-wide trend regarding the evolution of digital sales ... efficiently deliver compelling sales presentations via tablets. After ... in 2015, Intouch uncovered that while most pharmaceutical ... DSAs, many are not using them effectively during ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 9, 2016 On Tuesday, ... (FDA) met with its Arthritis Advisory Committee ... of Johnson & Johnson,s Remicade and most ... in the U.S. The Biologics Prescribers Collaborative ... - Alliance for Patient Access, American Association ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , February 10, 2016 The campaign aims ... 5 years reach the milestone of their 5 th ... ensure 2,50,532 children between the ages of 2 - ...   --> The campaign aims to ... years reach the milestone of their 5 th birthday   ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: