By: Allan M. Siegel
Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson reached a $2.2 billion settlement
for charges alleging that the company mis-marketed drugs for unapproved
uses and gave kickbacks to doctors and nursing homes. Attorney General
Eric Holder stated that Johnson & Johnson, as well as two subsidiary
companies, profited at the expense of patients, the insurance industry,
and American taxpayers.
According to the Department of Justice, the settlement will also include
one of the largest whistleblower awards in American history – a total of $167.7 million. The award will be divided among whistleblowers
in three states:
- $112 million will be paid to whistleblowers in Pennsylvania;
- $28 million in California; and
- Nearly $28 million in Massachusetts
Because whistleblowers are entitled to confidentiality and whistleblower
protections, no information was provided about the whistleblowers or the
number of whistleblowers involved in the case.
One whistleblower who did choose to go public was a former employee of
a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary who played a crucial role in the case
by first filing suit against Johnson & Johnson in 2005. He helped
government attorneys build their case and prepare depositions and will
be receiving the entire $28 million award in California.
Whistleblower Cases in Maryland
An official from the National Whistleblower Center stated that the settlement
and whistleblower award was a "great victory for whistleblowers."
Those who step forward to expose fraud or injustice are typically entitled
to confidentiality, whistleblower protection, and a portion of any settlement
or verdict obtained. According to many, however, whistleblowers have historically been shortchanged
by the Department of Justice and have often not received the full award
for which they were eligible.
If information provided by a whistleblower leads to a recovery of a million
dollars or more,
whistleblowers may be eligible to recover up to 30% of the amount recovered in a case. Still, the difficult whistleblower claim process and the historically
unfair settlements whistleblowers have obtained in the past make it important
for whistleblowers to work with experienced attorneys.
If you would like more information about whistleblower cases or qui tam
lawsuits and how a Maryland whistleblower lawyer from Chaikin, Sherman,
Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. can be of assistance, please call (888) 885-5638
for a free consultation.