A federal district court judge in Florida recently ruled that Bradley Nukrin, a False Claims Act whistleblower, is entitled to recover $959,713 in attorneys’ fees and expenses for his role in bringing about a $260 million settlement between Health Management Associates and the United States.
Under the terms of that settlement, Nurkin had already been awarded a $15 million “relator’s share” from this $260 million recovery, to reward Mr. Nurkin for filing his original False Claims Act lawsuit and alerting the government to allegations of Health Management Associates paying kickbacks for doctor referrals and billing healthcare programs for inpatient services that should have been billed as outpatient services.
Judge John E. Steele ruled that the fee recovery was proper under the lodestar method of calculating reasonable attorney’s fees in the Middle District of Florida. Under the federal False Claims Act, these attorney’s fees are paid by the defendants, and do not come out of the government’s recovery.
The government settled the lawsuit in September 2018. Health Management Associates (HMA) is a subsidiary of Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS). Our law firm previously represented a doctor and two nurses in a whistleblower case against CHS. CHS ultimately agreed to pay $98.15 million to resolve those claims and claims in several related cases, which are similar to some of the claims resolved in the 2018 HMA settlement. Our case was filed on behalf of our whistleblower clients in the federal court in Nashville, Tennessee. Click here to read more about our case.
Since January 2009, the federal government has recovered $19.3 billion from health care fraud actions alone. The qui tam provision of the False Claims Act allows ordinary citizens to help the government stop fraudulent activity.
To read the full article from Bloomberg Law, click here.
To learn more about our Whistleblower & Qui Tam practice click here. Our firm is located in Nashville, Tennessee but we represent whistleblowers all around the country. Call us today at (615) 244-2202.