Laura McLane Laura McLane

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Laura McLane serves as head of McDermott's Boston Litigation Practice Group. Laura represents national and international clients in health care, securities and other government enforcement matters, both civil and criminal. She also represents clients in professional and products liability cases and in complex commercial disputes. A significant part of Laura's practice is devoted to representing health care and other companies, as well as individuals, in government investigations and qui tam litigation based on the False Claims Act (FCA) and related statutes, including the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law. Read Laura McLane's full bio.

Guidance on Guidance: DOJ Limits Use of Agency Guidance Documents in Civil Enforcement Cases


By , and on Feb 20, 2018
Posted In Anti-Kickback Statute / Stark Law, Compliance Developments, Damages and Penalties, Medical Necessity, Other Notable Enforcement Actions, Pharmaceuticals

In a two-page memorandum, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a broad policy statement prohibiting the use of agency guidance documents as the basis for proving legal violations in civil enforcement actions, including actions brought under the False Claims Act (FCA). The extent to which these policy changes ultimately create relief for health care...

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SDNY Dismisses Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis Complaint on Materiality Grounds Because Government Paid Claims Despite Notice of Alleged Fraud


By on Mar 8, 2017
Posted In Materiality

On March 2, 2017, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York applied the materiality standard announced by the Supreme Court of the United States in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar to dismiss a relator’s complaint because the relator, a former managing director of Moody’s, failed to...

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The FCA and Medical Necessity: An Increasingly Tenuous Relationship


By and on Feb 7, 2017
Posted In Government investigation, Knowledge/Scienter, Medical Necessity, Rule 9(b) Particularity

On January 19, 2017, another district court ruled that a mere difference of opinion between physicians is not enough to establish falsity under the False Claims Act.  In US ex rel. Polukoff v. St. Mark’s et al., No. 16-cv-00304 (Jan. 17, 2017 D. Utah), the district court dismissed relator’s non-intervened qui tam complaint with prejudice...

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Court Rejects Criminal Defendant’s Attempt to Dismiss Indictment Based on Favorable Defense Verdict in Non-Intervened FCA Case


By on Feb 1, 2017
Posted In Uncategorized

On January 26, 2017, the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia rejected a defendant’s attempt to invoke collateral estoppel principles to dismiss an indictment for fraud.  In United States v. Whyte, the defendant, Whyte, argued that the indictment should be thrown out because a jury had previously found in his favor after...

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Cooperation in the Eye of the Beholder: DOJ Official Bill Baer Elaborates on Cooperation in False Claims Act and Other Civil Enforcement Matters


By and on Oct 18, 2016
Posted In Damages and Penalties, Government investigation

The law is uncertain. One example of this uncertainty is how the “Yates memo” is to be applied in civil cases — in particular, what constitutes “cooperation” and how cooperation may benefit a company under investigation for False Claims Act violations. On September 29, 2016, DOJ attempted (for a second time) to address the lack...

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Sixth Circuit Revives Home Health Qui Tam Based on Pre-Escobar Standards; Dissent Criticizes Majority for Engaging in Rulemaking


By on Oct 6, 2016
Posted In Materiality, Medical Necessity, Rule 9(b) Particularity

On September 30, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed dismissal of a relator’s False Claims Act (FCA) claims against providers of home health services in U.S. ex rel. Prather v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc. et al. The relator was a utilization review nurse who alleged that physician certifications of patient...

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Nurse-Relator’s Personal Opinion About Medical Necessity Insufficient To Support FCA Complaint, Holds Seventh Circuit


By on Sep 12, 2016
Posted In Medical Necessity, Rule 9(b) Particularity

On September 1, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit largely affirmed dismissal of a relator’s amended complaint pursuant to the particularity requirement of Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). In US ex rel. Presser v. Acacia Mental Health Clinic, LLC, the relator, a nurse, alleged that a number of practices at a...

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Failure to Specify Statutes and Regulations Fatal to FCA Complaint


By on Sep 6, 2016
Posted In Rule 9(b) Particularity

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reviewed a district court’s dismissal of an FCA claim against the City of Chicago, in which the relator alleged that the City’s certifications of compliance with civil rights laws were false because the City engaged in practices which increased racial segregation. The case is United...

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Eight Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Grant Based on Reasonable Interpretation of Ambiguous Regulation


By on Aug 12, 2016
Posted In Knowledge/Scienter

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit today issued a decision affirming a district court’s grant of summary judgment against a False Claims Act (FCA) relator in United States ex rel. Donegan v. Anesthesia Associates of Kansas City, PC, on which we previously posted.  The case involved a dispute over whether a regulation...

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Another Court Rejects Claims Based on Differences of Clinical Judgment; Also Rejects Extrapolation Attempt


By and on Jun 29, 2016
Posted In Medical Necessity, Retaliation, Sampling/Extrapolation

On June 20, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted summary judgment in defendants’ favor on all but her retaliation claims in relator’s False Claims Act (FCA) suit against defendants Vista Hospice Care, Inc. and VistaCare, Inc.  The court found that the relator, a former social worker at Defendants’...

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