Medicare Whistleblower’s $2 Million Deal Backed by 11th Circuit

July 6, 2020, 5:39 PM

A whistleblower’s $2 million settlement to resolve a False Claims Act suit with Sand Lake Cancer Center in Florida over Medicare and Medicaid fraud claims is an enforceable contract, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed Monday.

A district court reasonably found that the agreement is valid even though it allegedly lacked essential terms, such as ones setting the timing of payment and consequences for breach, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit said in a nonprecedential decision.

Sand Lake didn’t show that those terms were essential to their agreement, or are essential to every settlement under Florida law, the court said.

Meria Broadnax, a former pharmacy technician with the company, alleged that Sand Lake and its owner and founder violated the FCA by improperly billing Medicare and Medicaid for cancer treatments.

Prior to trial, the parties mediated their claims and signed a settlement agreement, but were unable to negotiate final terms, the court said.

The district court ruled that their settlement terms sheet contained all the essential terms for settlement of this particular action and was binding.

Judges Beverly B. Martin, Robin S. Rosenbaum, and Elizabeth Branch joined in the decision.

Morgan & Morgan P.A. represented Broadnax. A. Brian Phillips and Charles M. Greene P.A. represented Sand Lake.

The case is Broadnax v. Sand Lake Cancer Ctr. P.A., 11th Cir., No. 19-15141, 7/6/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Seiden in Washington at dseiden@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com

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