Judge denies Omnicare's 'untimely' motion to disqualify whistleblower in nursing home kickbacks case

Share this article:

Omnicare has failed to disqualify a whistleblower who alleges the long-term care pharmacy paid kickbacks to nursing homes, ruled a district court judge.

Whistleblower complaints under the False Claims Act are generally filed under seal, to give the government a chance to review the charges and determine whether to join the action. Omnicare filed a motion to disqualify whistleblower plaintiff Donald Gale, saying he violated the seal on this False Claims suit by mentioning the case to his wife and coworkers at Omnicare.

U.S. District Court Judge James S. Gwin declined to disqualify Gale, saying that his comments did not violate the seal because they were not public. Furthermore, his comments about meeting with lawyers and oblique references to “whistles” were not direct or detailed enough to tip off Omnicare as to the nature of the allegations.

Omnicare was able to figure out how Gale's comments related to the whistleblower case only after the complaint was unsealed, the judge determined, saying this was proven by the timing of Omnicare's motion to disqualify.

“Omnicare cannot have it both ways,” Gwin wrote. “It cannot say that it knew that Gale committed disqualifying conduct nearly three years ago, but decided for unstated reasons not to bring this motion until now. More likely, Omnicare did not actually know about this lawsuit in 2010, and made this motion as soon as it could connect the dots.”

The government did not join Gwin's case, which alleges that Omnicare gave nursing homes discounts on drugs in exchange for referrals of Medicare beneficiaries.

Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do not readmit more patients to hospitals, researchers find

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do ...

Low-quality and high-quality skilled nursing facilities readmit about the same proportion of residents to hospitals, suggest research findings recently published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study ...

Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare ...