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United States ex rel. Tyson v. Amerigroup Illinois, Inc.

Goldberg Kohn represented whistleblower Cleveland Tyson against Amerigroup, Illinois Inc. and Amerigroup Corporation in a lawsuit that alleged violations of the False Claims Act and the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act. Mr. Tyson alleged that the insurer denied benefits to certain pregnant women even though it was receiving payment from the state to provide the services as part of the government-subsidized Medicaid program.

Mr. Tyson turned to GK in 2005 recognizing that his case needed the assistance of a large firm. With the firm’s greater resources, principals David Chizewer and the late Fred Cohen were able to develop additional evidence that gained the interest of the U.S. government’s attorneys, who had earlier declined to work on the matter.

"One of the things we have focused on is taking cases the government might decline. Many large cases need the resources of a firm like ours," said Fred. "The U.S. Attorney's Offices don't always have all the resources they would like to have, and therefore can't take on every case they would like to take on."

After a four-week jury trial, led by Fred and David, Goldberg Kohn obtained the largest jury award in the history of these statutes. The total judgment was for $334 million on behalf of the United States and the State of Illinois. The case was settled for $225 million, while Amerigroup's appeal was pending during the summer of 2008. This settlement remains as one of the largest.

"It's especially gratifying to be able to achieve a victory for our client Cleveland Tyson, to demonstrate that his allegations had merit," said Fred.

Fred and David received wide recognition for their work on this case. View these accolades on our Awards & Recognition page.

Media coverage of the case includes: