Surgeons ask judge to revive Johnson & Johnson false claims suit

Carly Behm -  

Two surgeons are asking a judge to reverse the dismissal of a False Claims Act case against Johnson & Johnson related to hip replacement devices.

U.K.-based Drs. Antoni Nargol and David Langton alleged  in a 2012 lawsuit that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics defrauded the government by advertising defective hip replacement devices. The surgeons alleged a hip replacement implant in the "Pinnacle" portfolio was illegally promoted and sold by the company over a five-year period. In 2021, their case was tossed over claims the plaintiffs misused confidential records.

However, those claims have been disputed in an appeal, according to court documents filed May 17 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The 2021 dismissal zeroed in on information that was allegedly under a protective order at the time it was filed. According to the surgeons' May 17 appeal, information they incorporated into their complaint was public and not subject to any relevant protective order.

Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Synthes attempted through legal means to make the surgeons pay $2.4 million after their whistleblower case was tossed. However, a federal judge denied the motion in January.

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