12/17/2012 8:51:54 AM
Boston Scientific argues that a whistleblower lawsuit accusing its Guidant unit of running a kickbacks scheme with surgeons should be tossed under the "first-to-file" rule, because it's essentially the same as a previous case that was dismissed. Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) wants a federal appeals court to quash a whistleblower lawsuit filed against its Guidant subsidiary, invoking the "first-to-file" rule in arguing that the suit is barred because a previous, dismissed lawsuit brought essentially the same charges. Heidi Heineman-Guta in November 2009 sued Guidant and its corporate parent, which paid $26 billion for Guidant in 2006, alleging that BSX cooked up a scheme to promote off-label uses for its cardiac rhythm management devices and ran a kickbacks scheme to bribe surgeons to use the devices, according to court documents. The federal government declined to join the qui tam suit, unsealing it, and Heineman-Guta amended her complaint in January of this year in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, adding allegations of False Claims Act violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and conspiracy.
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