Largest U.S. Whistleblower Lawsuit in U.S. History Settled for $1.4 Billion
Global pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly has agreed to pay approximately $1.4 billion in fines, damages and penalties to settle several whistleblower lawsuits. The lawsuits alleged that the company defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other health care programs in connection with Zyprexa, its anti-psychotic drug. It is thought to be largest whistleblower, or Qui Tam, settlement in U.S. history.
Nationwide long term care sales force created to misrepresent Zyprexa
According to news reports, the whistleblower lawsuits alleged that Lilly created a long term care sales force specifically for the purpose of marketing Zyprexa for untested and unapproved off-label uses and misrepresented the potential dangers of the anti-psychotic drug to consumers.
The lawsuits were filed by a former Zyprexa sales representative and a former Lilly long term care representative. Although their share of the $1.4 billion settlement is unknown, whistleblowers generally receive between 15 and 25% of the recovery amount – which in this case would be between $210M and $350M.
Filing a Qui Tam lawsuit
Filing a Qui Tam lawsuit exposes fraud against the government. Many say that these lawsuits also have a domino effect by curtailing unfair business practices, punishing those who have broken the law and even in protecting the country’s national interests as every taxpayer in the United States is likely to be affected.
Legal experts say that once a Qui tam claim is recognized, it is important to keep the information confidential as reporting the fraud directly to the company will likely result in an adverse employment action. In addition, the False Claims Act mandates that only the first person(s) to file the claim in court can recover. So, discussing the issue with friends and co-workers is not a good idea – especially when a great deal of money is involved.
To read more on actual Qui Tam cases, click here.
If you believe that you may have a whistleblower lawsuit, contact an experienced Qui Tam attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential.