Akin Gump Achieves Reversal in $347 Million False Claims Act Case

(Washington) – A federal judge in Florida has reversed a $347 million judgment against an Akin Gump client, one of the country’s largest skilled nursing facilities, in a False Claims Act (FCA) action alleging billing fraud.

In securing this result, the Akin Gump team employed a strategy built around the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Universal Health Services v. Escobar, which found that continued government reimbursement after fraud allegations emerge is “very strong evidence” that the allegations were not material. In this instance, the government had surveyed the nursing facilities more than 1,000 times and had never denied the payment of a single claim.

This case is the latest in a string of FCA lawsuits Akin Gump has defended to judgment, either at the appellate stage, trial stage or at summary judgment, in cases in which plaintiffs (both the United States and whistleblowers) have sought hundreds of millions of dollars. This includes securing the reversal in October 2017 of a $663 million judgment against Trinity Industries, Inc. in an FCA suit regarding allegedly defective highway guardrail end terminals. (Read more about that matter here.)

The Akin Gump team representing the nursing homes was led by health partner Robert Salcido and litigation partner Terence Lynam, counsel Catherine Creely and Carroll Skehan and associate Maureen McDonald. Others involved included senior counsel Kenneth Alderfer; counsel Carolyn Perez, Stanley Woodward, Jack Burns and Megan Greer; and associates Jillie Richards, Erica Holland, Melissa Chastang, Catherine O’Connor, Daniel Graver, Adam Axler and Elias Dabaie.

The firm was recognized by Law360 among its Legal Lions for the week of January 15 for its role in the case.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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