Jim McEldrew’s Annual Railroad Worker Holiday Party Scheduled


Jim McEldrew has scheduled his annual holiday party for Philadelphia’s railroad workers.  This year, it will be Friday, December 8, 2017 starting at 6:30 PM at Chez Colette (located inside the Sofitel Hotel).  Chez Colette is located at 120 S. 17th St. in Center City, Philadelphia.

We look forward to another great turnout of SEPTA workers and others in the railroad industry.  Although we are sad that it could not be held at Pennsylvania 6 again (since they closed), we are looking forward to celebrating the holiday season at a new venue with old and new friends.

Past and present clients are, of course, welcome and should be receiving the below postcard invitation in the mail.  If we don’t have your address but you work for a railroad in the area, you are also free to join us – just make sure that you are RSVP so that we know you are coming.

In order to let the restaurant know how many people to expect, please RSVP by Tuesday, November 28, 2017 to Jessica Dinsdorf at McEldrew Young.  She can be reached at (215) 545-8800 (ask for Jessica) or email to jdinsdorf@mceldrewyoung.com .

The details from the invite are below.  We look forward to seeing you in early December!

McEldrew Young Lawyers Named to Super Lawyers Lists for 2017


We are pleased to announce that James J. McEldrew, III, has been named to the 2017 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list. Brandon Lauria and Daniel Purtell were named to the 2017 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list published by the same organization.

The Super Lawyers list is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than five percent of attorneys in the state. Jim McEldrew has been named to the list for 14 years in a row.

The Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state. To be eligible for inclusion, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger, or in practice for 10 years or less.

This is the 7th year in a row that Brandon Lauria has received the designation. Brandon Lauria works with clients in a wide variety of employment and family law matters. Brandon was selected for inclusion on the list for his work in family law.

Dan Purtell works with our personal injury clients here at McEldrew Young. Dan was selected to the list for his work as a medical malpractice lawyer.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.

The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes peer nominations, independent research, and evaluations from a highly credentialed panel of attorneys.

The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both referring attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel.

Recent Whistleblower Developments at McEldrew Young


Last spring was a pretty busy time for whistleblower news at McEldrew Young.  It has been the same this year!

McEldrew Young received a positive decision for our clients on Pfizer’s motion to dismiss the second amended complaint in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania over Vfend, an azole antifungal agent. The Defendants raised argument on some of the leading areas of dispute in the False Claims Act today, including the materiality standard post-Escobar and the ability to amend the complaint to cure a first-to-file defect post-Carter. Nevertheless, the decision denied Pfizer’s motion to dismiss on all counts.

McEldrew Young represents a whistleblower in a False Claims Act lawsuit against Kimberly Clark and Halyard Health in the Northern District of Texas. The complaint alleges that the Defendants sold high performance surgical gowns to the government and Medicare/Medicaid providers that did not meet applicable standards of protection. Although our lawsuit is still near the beginning of its journey through the judicial system, a class action in California on behalf of gown purchasers secured a $454 million jury verdict at trial. The defendants have said they will appeal the verdict there.

Our attorneys have also had a few different pieces on whistleblower laws picked up by other publications recently. We expect at least one more piece to be published soon. We will be sure to share it with you when it hits the internet.

At the end of March, the Penn Record published an opinion piece that criticized prospective legislation to implement a state False Claims Act here in Pennsylvania. While approximately thirty states have already adopted such legislation, Pennsylvania has not. Eric Young and Jim McEldrew published a response titled A Misguided View of Whistleblower Laws that set the record straight on our practice area and the clients that approach us for representation. Unlike the portrayal of whistleblowers in the article, our clients are not chasing 15 minutes in the spotlight. We hope you will read both pieces and then contact your state representatives to express support for the passage of a False Claims Act here in Pennsylvania.

Eric Young and Brandon Lauria also published a blog post on SEC Rule 21F-17 at Compliance & Enforcement, a blog sponsored by NYU Law’s Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement, last week. SEC Rule 21F-17 is the rule that prohibits businesses from taking any steps to impede whistleblower communications with the SEC. Brandon previously discussed this topic on a webinar hosted by the The Knowledge Group. Given the recently revealed efforts by Barclays to track down one of their bank whistleblowers, it is a timely piece. Read it:  SEC Reboots Employment Agreements via Whistleblower Protections.

Eric Young Interviewed on Auto Whistleblowers by Corporate Crime Reporter


Eric Young was interviewed for the January 16, 2017 edition of the Corporate Crime Reporter on the new auto whistleblower reward program established by Congress in 2015 as part of the FAST Act. With Takata and VW paying large fines to the U.S. Government in the past two weeks, it is a timely read.

The new whistleblower law joins the False Claims Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 in providing substantial monetary incentives to whistleblowers for providing information about companies breaking the law. The Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, as this section of the FAST Act is known, provides rewards to insiders who have information about delayed recalls by auto manufacturers and part suppliers that raise potential safety concerns, among other things.

The Corporate Crime Reporter has been interviewing professionals for its print edition for 28 years since its first issue in April 1987 featured Rudy Giuliani, then a U.S. Attorney in Manhattan. We are pleased to see Eric join a prestigious list of government attorneys, academic professors, whistleblowers and other practitioners who have been interviewed by the publication over the last 28 years.

McEldrew Young Secures $1.836 Million Verdict for Injured Worker


After a seven day trial conducted by McEldrew Young attorneys Jim McEldrew and Dan Purtell, our client has been awarded a verdict of $1.836 million by a Philadelphia jury for a spinal injury.

Our client was an employee of SEPTA when he fell on black ice because a SEPTA sub-contractor failed to properly remove the snow and ice.  Due to his injury, our client required spinal surgery and is unable to return to work.

The lawsuit was initially filed under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) against SEPTA.  The FELA is an alternate form of workers’ compensation used by railroad employees instead of the state mandated system.  It involves litigation in the judicial system rather than the administrative law system of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Court.

After the initial complaint, the case increased in complexity when the contractor and subcontractor were brought in to the lawsuit.  Nevertheless, our client prevailed with the jury.

Congratulations are in order for Jim, Dan, the rest of our team and most of all – our client!

Eric Young on Accountant Whistleblowers in Pennsylvania CPA Journal


The Pennsylvania CPA Journal published a piece by McEldrew Young Partner Eric L. Young in its Winter 2017 edition on the changes to the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Code of Ethics.  The new ethics guidelines greatly clarify the steps for accountants to take when they confront suspected noncompliance with laws and regulations (NOCLAR) during the performance of their duties for clients.

The full article is available online here at the Pennsylvania Institute for Certified Public Accountants website.

McEldrew Young Files Antitrust Class Action Against Novartis over Gleevec.


McEldrew Young and co-counsel have filed an antitrust class action lawsuit against Novartis on behalf of direct purchasers of the drug Gleevac who were denied the right to purchase generic versions of the drug during a certain time period. Gleevec is an FDA-approved prescription drug manufactured and sold by Novartis that improves the lives of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Gleevac revenue was $4.65 billion in 2015.

McEldrew Young’s lawsuit alleges that the Novartis patent should have expired on July 4, 2015 and that generic Gleevec would have entered the market thereafter if not for improper acts by Novartis. The lawsuit alleges that Novartis has delayed the entry of competition into the marketplace through patent infringement litigation to enforce a patent that it knows to be invalid.

According to the lawsuit, this conduct violates section 2 of the Sherman Act. Section 2 of the Sherman Act forbids monopolizing or attempts to monopolize. The Clayton Act allows an injured private party to seek damages for violations of antitrust laws.

McEldrew Young represents RXDN, Inc., a pharmacy that purchased Gleevec tablets after July 4, 2015 and alleges that it paid more for Gleevec then it would have if Novartis hadn’t improperly delayed the entry of generics into the market.

Pursuant to a settlement agreement between Novartis and Sun Pharmaceutical, Sun launched its generic equivalent of Gleevec in February 2016. Other competitors remain in litigation with Novartis.

The Federal Trade Commission has taken a strong stand over the past few years against pharmaceutical companies that have engaged in a strategy of “pay for delay” patent settlements against generic competition. The FTC website indicates that anticompetitive deals cost consumers and taxpayers $3.5 billion in higher drug costs every year.

The lawsuit is McEldrew Young’s second against Novartis. McEldrew Young and co-counsel represent the whistleblower in the Department of Justice’s pending False Claims Act lawsuit in the Southern District of New York over alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute through payments for “sham” speaker programs.

Photo Credit.

McEldrew Young Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Valeant Subsidiary Salix Settles For $54 Million


McEldrew Young, Attorneys-at-Law, announces a $54 million dollar settlement of its False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit against Salix Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, by the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”).  Salix knowingly caused the submission of false claims to Medicare and Medicaid by paying kickbacks to prescribing physicians, including sham “speaking” fees, according to the allegations in the lawsuit In re Salix, Case No. 12-3870, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“Drug and medical device companies have paid billions of dollars to doctors as speakers, researchers and consultants,” declared Eric L. Young, Esq., a Partner at McEldrew Young.  “Salix crossed the line and those payments became kickbacks when its speaker programs stopped focusing on education and instead rewarded doctors for writing prescriptions.”

McEldrew Young’s 2012 qui tam lawsuit against Salix and the resulting government investigation revealed a company lavishing prescribers with thousands of dollars in speaking fees, expensive dinners, drinks, and entertainment in order to increase the number of prescriptions written by doctors for Xifaxan, Apriso, Relistor, MoviPrep, OsmoPrep, Solesta and Deflux.  From January 2009 through December 2013, Salix employees throughout the United States held “speaker” programs that were primarily social in nature.  The complained of misconduct included, for example:

  • Gatherings at high-end restaurants with little or no time discussing Salix drugs;
  • Doctors attending multiple programs on the same topic over a short period of time;
  • Pre-recorded presentations which were not played or were not in a location conducive to watching or listening; and
  • Gatherings including non-healthcare professionals such as physicians’ spouses.

Salix decided to resolve the government’s investigation into its sham speaker program payments after being confronted with a mountain of evidence provided, in large part, by our clients,” said James J. McEldrew, III, a Partner at McEldrew Young, and Past President of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. “These practices could not have been stopped without a tremendous team effort including our clients, who were determined to do the right thing for American patients and taxpayers, and the Justice Department attorneys, who worked tirelessly on the case.”

McEldrew Young worked closely with Joseph Trautwein of Joseph Trautwein & Associates who represented one of several whistleblowers in the case.

The Salix lawsuit is one of several filed by McEldrew Young attorneys concerning allegations that pharmaceutical companies engaged in the payment of sham “speaker” fees.  McEldrew Young continues to pursue separate lawsuits against Novartis, Pfizer and Teva seeking the recovery of billions of dollars in payments made by Medicare and Medicaid over the past decade.  These lawsuits are captioned U.S. ex rel. Bilotta v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Case No. 11 Civ. 0071 (S.D.N.Y.), U.S. ex rel. Brown et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., Case No. 05-6795 (E.D. Pa) and U.S. ex rel. Arnstein et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et al. Case No. 13 Civ. 3702 (S.D.N.Y.).

The Anti-Kickback Statute makes it unlawful to knowingly offer or pay any remuneration (whether in cash or in kind) in exchange for the referral of business paid for by a federal government healthcare program, such as Medicare or Medicaid.  42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b).  The False Claims Act rewards individuals reporting violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute through a qui tam lawsuit with rewards of between 15 and 30 percent of the government’s recovery.

McEldrew Young represents whistleblowers throughout the United States and abroad reporting corporate wrongdoing to the U.S. Government through reward programs created by the False Claims Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, and the IRS Whistleblower Program.  Through these laws, our attorneys help clients report health care fraud, government contract fraud, securities fraud, delayed motor vehicle recalls, and tax evasion, among other things. The firm is led by James J. McEldrew, III and Eric L. YoungJim McEldrew is a trial attorney and Past President of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.  Eric L. Young is a whistleblower attorney with a distinguished track record of success in whistleblower cases.  Eric has represented whistleblower clients in cases against some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, in addition to having secured the first-ever whistleblower reward paid by the IRS Whistleblower Office in 2011.

Joseph Trautwein has more than sixteen years experience in complex civil litigation including twelve years of service with the U.S. Department of Justice. He was Assistant U.S. Attorney in the civil division of the Philadelphia office until 2010, focusing primarily on health care and defense contractor fraud. Trautwein continues to pursue corporate wrongdoing on behalf of consumers and the government.

Three McEldrew Young Attorneys Named Super Lawyers in 2016


We’re honored to share the selection of attorneys James J. McEldrew and Eric L. Young to the 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list and Brandon J. Lauria to the Pennsylvania Rising Stars list.

The Super Lawyers list is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than five percent of attorneys in Pennsylvania. The Rising Stars list, which honors lawyers under 40 or in the first ten years of their practice, recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in Pennsylvania. Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Jim McEldrew has been named to the PA Super Lawyers list for more than a decade. He has been recognized for his work as a medical malpractice attorney.

Eric Young received his third Super Lawyers selection as a civil litigation attorney. Eric was previously named as a Rising Star in 2008 and 2010.

Brandon Lauria received his sixth consecutive selection to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list as a family law attorney.

Deborah Rocco Certified in Workers’ Comp By PA Bar Association


Deborah RoccoOur Of Counsel, Deborah Rocco, has been certified as a specialist in the practice of workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Law Section. Less than 200 attorneys across the state of PA have earned the designation.

In 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved the PBA Workers’ Compensation Law Section as the first bar association entity in Pennsylvania to certify lawyers in the area of workers’ compensation law.  Certification was granted to 149 lawyers who took the exam in 2013, 32 lawyers who took the exam in 2014, 20 lawyers who took the exam in 2015, and 18 who took the exam earlier this year.  We are very pleased to announce that Deb was one of the 18.

Deb passed the certification examination that focuses on workers’ compensation law and rules and leading case law.  She also successfully completed the 2016 certification process by submitting a variety of documents showing that at least 50 percent of her legal practice is in the specialty field of workers’ compensation, that she has practiced in the field for more than five years, and that she actively participates in Mandatory Continuing Legal Education in workers’ compensation law and related fields.

If you are in need of a Philadelphia worker’s compensation lawyer, you can learn more about Deb Rocco by visiting her online profile: click here.