Whistleblowers have a lot to celebrate in the wake of the recent $1.4 billion settlement from drug maker, Eli Lilly. The drug giant, Eli Lilly, plead guilty to promoting its drug Zyprexa for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Included is a criminal fine of $515 million, the largest ever in a health care case, and the largest criminal fine for an individual corporation ever imposed in a United States criminal prosecution of any kind. Eli Lilly will also pay up to $800 million in a civil settlement with the federal government and the states. Whistleblowers will share in about 20% of the government's share in the $800,000.
This settlement should help more whistleblowers come forward. AM Law Daily gives an insightful summary on how whistleblower cases have increased in the past year. I have to admit, at our firm, over the past year and even more recently, whistleblowers have been contacting us regarding qui tam claims. I think that this can be attributed to the large whistleblower rewards and media attention over the past year. One word of caution, if you are a whistleblower with critical information, talk to an Attorney about your claim and rights before making statements public. This way you have a better way of protecting your claim.
Click here to read more on the $1.4 billion qui tam settlement from Eli Lilly from the Department of Justice.
Let's see how 2009 will treat qui tam and whistleblower claims under the new administration.