Grant & Eisenhofer co-counsel in Class Action Against Groeb Farms and Honey Solutions, Alleging Suppliers Sold Tainted Honey From China

Suit filed by domestic producers alleges two largest industrial honey suppliers in U.S. imported mislabeled, adulterated honey from China; complaint follows nearly five-year “Honeygate” investigation led by U.S. Department of Homeland Security; law firm Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. is co-counsel to plaintiffs

CHICAGO (April 19, 2013) – Three domestic honey producers – Adee Honey Farms, Bill Rhodes Honey Company, LLC, and Hackenberg Apiaries – filed a class action complaint this week in the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. In addition to the three named honey producers, the lawsuit asserts claims on behalf of a nationwide class defined as all individuals and entities “with commercial beekeeping operations (300 or more hives) that produced and sold honey in the United States during the period from 2001 to the present”… Read full Press Release

Grant & Eisenhofer represent whistleblower in $24.9 million settlement with biotechnology company Amgen, Inc.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina —-United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced a $24.9 million settlement with Amgen, Inc., a California based biotechnology company. Amgen, Inc. agreed to the settlement to address allegations it paid kickbacks to long-term care pharmacy providers Omnicare Inc., PharMerica Corporation, and Kindred Healthcare Inc. in return for implementing “therapeutic interchange” programs that were designed to switch Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries from a competitor drug to Aranesp.

The Government alleged that the kickbacks took the form of performance-based rebates on Aranesp. As part of that program, the Government alleged that Amgen distributed materials designed to recommend Aranesp’s use in patients who did not have “anemia associated with chronic renal failure,” as specified in the approved labeling for Aranesp.

The District of South Carolina began investigating these False Claims Act allegations in the summer of 2010. In particular, the investigation focused on whether Aranesp was marketed to patients, many of whom were in skilled nursing facilities, who did not have “anemia associated with chronic renal failure.”

The False Claims Act allows the government to bring civil actions against entities that knowingly use or cause the use of false documents to obtain money from the government or to conceal an obligation to pay money to the government. The lawsuit in this case was initially filed by an Amgen employee under the qui tam or whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. This provision 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. In this matter, the whistleblower shall receive over $3 million from the proceeds of the settlement.

“By this agreement we are making important strides in holding drug manufacturers accountable for fraudulent and abusive practices not only in South Carolina, but nationwide. I am proud of the tireless work of this office to investigate this case across the country,” said U.S. Attorney Nettles.

This settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by Assistant United States Attorneys Fran Trapp and James Leventis of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina, along with the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, FDA’s Office of Inspector General, HHS’s Office of Inspector General, and Defense Criminal Investigating Service, who diligently worked to investigate the allegations and litigate the case.

The whistleblower was represented by South Carolina attorney Richard Harpootlian along with the firm of Grant & Eisenhofer (G&E) including firm director Reuben Guttman, of the Washington, D.C. office, who heads the G&E False Claims Litigation Group, Traci Buschner, Senior Counsel, also of G&E’s Washington office, and Justin Victor, Associate at G&E’s Wilmington office.

Grant & Eisenhofer files consumer class action alleging acceleration defects in potentially millions of Ford vehicles

If you bought or leased one or more vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Company, in the United States, between 2002 and 2010, your vehicle may be at risk for sudden unintended acceleration caused by dangerous design defects and the absence of necessary protections that have resulted in vehicle collisions, deaths, and injuries to occupants and pedestrians… To learn more click here

Firm Director Reuben Guttman comments on market integrity in China in The Global Legal Post

Looking For Market Integrity In China

Economic forces globally are driving conformity in a wide range of practices, says Reuben Guttman.

With political and cultural difference tempered by economic goals, Hong Kong and mainland China are searching for mechanisms to create greater integrity in financial markets and generally maintain China as a place for investment… Read the full April 2 commentary

Firm Director Reuben Guttman reports in The Global Legal Post on a recent training event with financial fraud prosecutors in Shanghai

The New Global Legal Norms

As multinationals move around the globe, legal systems are cross-pollinated. China is a case in point, says Reuben Guttman who has just returned from an event in Shanghai dealing with securities dereliction.

On a Saturday afternoon this month, I was part of a team of four faculty members from Emory University Law School’s Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution participating in a training dialogue with Shanghai  financial fraud prosecutors. The topic of the training was investigation and prosecution of insider trading cases… Read the full March 21 commentary