Powell and McKenna Honored for Historic $40 Million Settlement
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. November 17, 2009 Scott A. Powell and Don McKenna from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton along with Co-Counsels Frederick M. Morgan and Jennifer M. Verkamp from Morgan Verkamp LLC have been named the 2009 False Claims Act Lawyers of the Year by Taxpayer’s Against Fraud Education Fund (TAF).
The award, presented in Washington, D.C. at the TAF annual meeting, was a result of their successful litigation in a fifteen year case against Healthways and Diabetes Treatment Centers of America which eventually resulted in a $40 million settlement.
“This is a tremendous honor which is shared by all who worked so untiringly on this case,” said Scott Powell.
The case was initiated in June 1994, when A. Scott Pogue, who had recently been fired from his job as a marketing representative for a company called Diabetes Treatment Centers of America, filed a case in Nashville under the United States Civil False Claims Act against his former employer.
Over the course of 15 years, the Pogue Case made a lot of new and important law. In fact, this case resulted in 15 published opinions, several of which have been pivotal in establishing the now widely-accepted principle that violations of the Anti-Kickback Act can form the basis for a suit under the False Claims Act.
Powell says, “The law established and developed by the Pogue case has enabled the Department of Justice to recoup several hundred million dollars in taxpayer money wrongfully and fraudulently taken through Medicare fraud and illegal kickbacks.”
“Mr. Pogue’s settlement likely represents the third-highest recovery in such a case in the history of the False Claims Act,” says Co-counsel Don McKenna.
In awarding the Lawyer of the Year the Taxpayer’s Against Fraud Education Fund lauded the perseverance of Powell, McKenna, Morgan and Verkamp stating, “This is the kind of warrior spirit we like to see at TAF.”
Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton has battled on behalf of whistleblowers in the federal district courts around the country as well the United States Supreme Court and the Sixth, Eleventh and DC Circuit Courts of Appeals. The firm is one of only a hand full of law firms in the Country that has litigated a False Claims Act jury trial.