Medtronic PLC has agreed to pay $4.4 million in its third federal settlement in the past 2 months. The settlement if for allegations that it deliberately violated U.S. law requiring that devices sold to the military be manufactured in the United States or its international trading partners.
The False Claim Act lawsuit alleged that the formerly Fridley-based med-tech company brought spinal surgery devices in from China and then relabeled them to say they were manufactured in Memphis, TN where its spinal division is based.
The settlement focused on a number of accessories and surgical instruments used in spinal surgeries that were provided to Medtroinic. Third-party suppliers in China or Malaysia manufactured these instruments. Medtronic has said that the majority of their products are manufactured in the United States or their trading partners in Mexico or Ireland.
On February 5th, Medtronic secondary company agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle allegations that its corporate predecessor, Fox Hollow Technologies Inc., encouraged 12 hospitals to overbill Medicare for atherectomy procedures. And, on February 6th, Medtronic agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle claims that it caused dozens of doctors to bill Medicare for investigational neurostimulation procedures that were not reimbursable.
Medtronic claims innocence in both cases.
The country-of-origin case was originally filed in 2012 and was kept secret until its resolution, which is a common theme in False Claims Acts. Three whistleblowers said in their Medtronic lawsuit that the company knew it was bringing in devices from China and elsewhere. However, between 2007 and 2013 it falsely certified to the Defense Department and the Veterans Affairs Department that the devices met the requirements of the Buy American Act and the Trade Agreements Act.
When you sell products to the government, they must be made in the United States or in a country that we have free-trade agreement with. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Bildtsen said she wasn’t privy to whether Medtronic has changed their manufacturing or importing practices in response to the case, but said she would be surprised if the case wasn’t a “wake-up call” to the company.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a False Claim Act or been a victim to product defects, you deserve compensation. Balkin Law will work hard and fight for your rights. Don’t be a silent victim. Visit hirethebull.com or call us at 1-888-751-5908.