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Department of Justice settles suit filed by former BAYADA Director of Strategic Growth David Freedman, represented by Goldberg Kohn Ltd.

BAYADA Home Health Care, Inc., a New Jersey-based $1.5 billion international home health care agency, yesterday agreed to pay $17 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that BAYADA had illegally purchased patient referrals through the purchase of two home health agencies from a retirement operator in Arizona, which operated a national chain of retirement communities. The United States Department of Justice joined the whistleblower lawsuit, filed in New Jersey federal court in 2017 by David Freedman, BAYADA's former Director of Strategic Growth. 

According to that lawsuit, BAYADA violated the Federal False Claims Act and the Medicare and Medicaid Anti-Kickback Statute (also known as the AKS), by creating claims for payment by the federal government that was fraudulently tainted by illegal kickbacks. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that BAYADA agreed to pay the retirement home operator an exorbitant sum to enter an illegal quid pro quo referral arrangement under which the operator referred its residents throughout the country to BAYADA, thereby tainting BAYADA's claims submitted to the government for reimbursement over a six-year period of time.

Mr. Freedman is represented by David Chizewer and David Morrison of Goldberg Kohn Ltd. Mr. Freedman's lawsuit was filed under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which encourages private citizens to report fraud against the government by allowing them to sue on behalf of the government and receive a share of any recovery. The False Claims Act also allows the government to join and prosecute such lawsuits, as the Department of Justice did in this case in connection with the claims against BAYADA. 

"It takes a real person of integrity, like our client, to have the courage to come forward and ensure that health care providers focus their decisions for patients only on the patient's best interests and not influenced by illegal kickbacks. We are proud to represent Mr. Freedman," said David Morrison, a principal in Goldberg Kohn's Litigation practice.  

The government team was led by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Meyler, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Samson Asiynabi. "We commend Mr. Meyler and Mr. Asiynabi for their commitment to justice and skill in successfully resolving the claims against BAYADA," said David Chizewer, a principal in Goldberg Kohn's Litigation practice.

The lawsuit is captioned United States of America, State of New Jersey, ex rel. David Freedman v. BAYADA Home Health Care, Inc., et al, No. 17-cv-06267 (NLH) (D. N.J.).