Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Taylor Chenery commented on a case involving allegations that United Biologics, which operates remote allergy centers, violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by billing the government for unnecessary or unapproved medical treatments and paying illegal kickbacks to doctors who contracted with United. Four relators initially filed suit in Texas before a fifth relator filed a separate action in Georgia alleging similar misconduct. After the court granted the Texas relators’ voluntary dismissal of their case, United appealed, arguing that dismissal should have been with prejudice as to the United States. The Fifth Circuit affirmed, holding that the dismissal should not reference the government where the government elected not to intervene in the case.
“It is common in non-intervened cases for the government or relator to request specification that dismissal is without prejudice to the United States,” Taylor observed. “There should be no dismissal as to the government as a non-party. The court seems satisfied the Georgia district court will be able to address what effect, if any, the Texas dismissal will have on the Georgia case.”
The full article, “Allergy Center’s Unusual False Claims Act Appeal Fails,” was published by Bloomberg Law on October 17, 2018, and is available online (subscription required).