Sanford Heisler Adds Ross Brooks as Qui Tam Practice Group Head

Posted August 14th, 2012.

Former Milberg Partner Brings Diverse Experience

Representing Whistleblowers Nationwide Under U.S. False Claims Act

For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, 201-493-1027, jamie@newspros.com

(August 14, 2012, New York, NY) – Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP (SWH), a leading national public interest law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco, today announced the addition of Ross Brooks as head of its qui tam practice. Mr. Brooks is resident in the firm’s New York office.

“We are delighted to have Ross serve as head of our nationwide qui tam, whistleblower practice,” said David Sanford, Founding and Managing Partner of SWH. “He brings great experience, a depth of understanding and proven ability to successfully prosecute False Claims Act cases. Ross will serve as lead counsel in our dozen qui tam cases under seal, will assist at trial in our Smith & Nephew matter pending in Tennessee, and will undoubtedly be filing more cases in the near future.”

Mr. Brooks was formerly a partner at Milberg LLP, where his practice focused on the representation of whistleblowers, public and private payors and injured consumers in False Claims Act, class action, and other complex litigation.  Between 2006 and 2012, he devoted his practice exclusively to False Claims Act litigation, while providing strategic, managerial and first chair support to the Chair of Milberg LLP’s False Claims Act Practice Group.

“Joining Sanford Wittels & Heisler in the key role of qui tam practice group leader affords me and the firm a significant opportunity to expand our representation of whistleblowers across the country,” said Mr. Brooks.  “SWH already attracts some of the largest and most complex qui tam cases and I’ve been impressed by its record of success.  My principal priority is to develop our capacity to serve more claimants, while extending the firm\’s stellar accomplishments in pursuing false claims.”

Among, Mr. Brooks’ False Claims Act wins are Mason v. Medline, a non-intervened case resulting in $85 million settlement arising from unlawful kickbacks paid to providers to induce government purchases of medical supplies; United States ex rel. Piacentile v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., resulting in $515 million settlement arising from unlawful conduct including off-label promotion to induce government purchases of the antipsychotic drug Abilify; and United States ex rel. Marchese v. Cell Therapeutics, Inc., resulting in $10.5 million settlement arising from unlawful off-label promotion to induce government purchases of the cancer drug Trisenox.

He also represented public and private payors and injured consumers in In Re Vytorin/Zetia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litig., resulting in $41.5 million to resolve consumer fraud claims on behalf of a class of private payors relating to the marketing of the anti-cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia; In re Hydroxycut Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, in which he successfully briefed and argued an opposition to a Canadian company\’s motion to dismiss a consumer fraud complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction; and In re Pharmaceutical Industry Average Wholesale Price Litigation, in which he served as outside counsel to Nassau County in New York State in consolidated consumer fraud action alleging that over 40 drug manufacturers engaged in unlawful price inflation which defrauded the Medicaid program of millions of dollars in drug reimbursements.

Prior to joining Milberg, Mr. Brooks was a litigation associate at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP, both in New York, where he practiced complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on intellectual property and antitrust litigation.

He received his J.D  from The University of Chicago Law School in 1997 and his B.A. from Cornell University in 1992.

In the past year, SWH has settled four significant qui tam actions against major corporations with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice, filed 12 other whistleblower actions nationwide, and is currently investigating and drafting additional matters across the country.

The firm’s most recent settlements for whistleblowers were against medical device maker, Medtronic for $23.5 million in a case involving cardiac rhythm management devices sold by Medtronic in the U.S., including pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs); AtriCure, Inc., a medical device manufacturer; Estech, a medical device manufacturer; and Oce North America and Oce Imagistics, a manufacturer of printers and document management systems. AtriCure agreed to pay $4.15 million to resolve claims of illegal kickbacks to physicians; Estech agreed to pay $1.4 million to resolve civil claims in connection with the promotion of its surgical ablation devices; and Oce agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve civil claims in connection with allegations that it sold printing products to the federal government manufactured in non-designated countries and failed to offer them at the rates offered non-government customers.

About Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP

Sanford Wittels& Heisler is a law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Franciscothat specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour, qui tam and consumer actions and complex corporate class action litigation and has represented thousands of individuals in major class action cases in the United States. The firm also represents individual clients in employment, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, public accommodations, commercial, medical malpractice, and personal injury matters. In May 2010, the firm won the largest jury award in the U.S. in a gender discrimination employment class action when a jury returned a verdict of $253 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.  On January 25, 2012, SWH won preliminary court approval to settle a wage and hour case on behalf of sales reps employed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals for $99 million.  For more information, contact Sanford Wittels& Heisler at (202) 499-5200.

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