Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP Announces $48 Million Civil Settlement Resolving Whistleblower Lawsuits Between the Department of Justice and Ensign Group over Medicare Billing Fraud
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (“Robbins Geller”) today announced a $48 million settlement between Ensign Group, a California-based nursing home operator, and the U.S. Department of Justice, which resolves claims in two whistleblower lawsuits filed by former Ensign therapists, including one represented by Robbins Geller. The whistleblower actions alleged that for more than a decade, from 1999 through 2011, Ensign Group and its subsidiaries submitted inflated bills to Medicare for services that either were unnecessary or never performed. Both actions were filed in 2006 in federal court in Los Angeles, California: United States ex rel. Carol Sanchez v. Ensign Group Inc., No. SACV 06-0643 CJC (ANx) (C.D. Cal.), and United States ex rel. Gloria Patterson v. Ensign Group Inc., No. SACV 06-6956 CJC (ANx) (C.D. Cal.).
Ms. Sanchez was represented by Robbins Geller attorney John Stoia, of counsel. According to United States Attorney André Birotte Jr., the settlement is “one of the largest of its kind in United States history,” involving “a company that regularly bilked Medicare by submitting inflated bills.”
The whistleblower lawsuits were filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which entitles a private person to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States where the private person has information that the named defendant has knowingly violated the False Claims Act. Under the False Claims Act, the private person, also known as a “whistleblower,” is entitled to a share of the government’s recovery.
The settlement covered alleged fraud by Ensign Group and six of Ensign’s operating subsidiaries: (1) Atlantic Memorial Healthcare Associates, Inc. d/b/a Atlantic Memorial Healthcare Center of Long Beach, California; (2) Ensign Panorama LLC d/b/a Panorama Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation of Panorama City, California; (3) Ensign Whittier West LLC d/b/a/ The Orchard Post Acute Center of Whittier, California; (4) HB Healthcare Associates LLC d/b/a Sea Cliff Healthcare Center of Huntington Beach, California; (5) Southland Management LLC d/b/a Southland Care Center of Norwalk, California; and (6) Victoria Ventura Healthcare LLC d/b/a Victoria Care Center of Ventura, California.
About Robbins Geller
Robbins Geller represents U.S. and international institutional investors in contingency-based securities and corporate litigation and whistleblowers in cases involving the False Claims Act. With nearly 200 lawyers in ten offices, the firm represents hundreds of public and multi-employer pension funds with combined assets under management in excess of $2 trillion. The firm has obtained many of the largest recoveries and has been ranked number one in the number of shareholder class action recoveries in MSCI’s Top SCAS 50 every year since 2003. Robbins Geller’s whistleblower team is comprised of former federal and state prosecutors, including the former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, as well as former trial attorneys at the SEC. These seasoned attorneys uniquely position Robbins Geller to achieve the best and most rewarding results for its clients. Please visit http://www.whistleblower-lawfirm.com or http://www.rgrdlaw.com or contact Robert Lu of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at email@example.com, for more information about the firm’s whistleblower practice.
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
Robert Lu, 800-449-4900