Monday, January 11, 2010
A Louisiana hearing committee recently recommended permanent disbarment of an attorney convicted of conspiracy and fraud for his involvement in fling fraudelent claims to compensate Fen Phen victims. The attorney was the head of his law firm's mass torts section and was "one of several attorneys across the country who entered into a fee-splitting and referral-fee agreement to recruit clients" for Fen Phen settlements.
Review of the materials submitted led to the discovery of "numerous instances where the proof was identical for multiple claimants and where the proof of [product] usage extended beyond the time when the drug was removed from the market." The Fifth Circuit affirmed the conviction, finding that the lawyer's firm had employed a person who had built a network of people to help locate claimants and assist in preparing false claims. There were 82 identified potential false claims that resulted in a loss to the settlement fund of over $6.7 million. (Mike Frisch)