According to Bloomberg, a recent settlement deal between medical device manufacturer Orthofix and the U.S. Justice Department regarding claims that the manufacturer of bone repair products defrauded Medicare by paying kickbacks to doctors was pulled off the table for the second time. According to the federal judge presiding over the case, the agreement between the federal agency and the company was not in the best interest of the public.
Judge William Young oversees the United States District Court for Massachusetts. The federal judge first stopped the settlement between the two groups in September of this year. According to the federal judge, the agreement between the U.S. Justice Department and Orthofix did not give him enough justification to administer further penalties.
In a press release, Young said, "It seems in this case the court’s hands ought not be tied." He continued, "I have extreme unease of treating corporate criminal conduct like a civil case." In a December hearing this month, the federal judge once again denied the agreement between the two groups. In addition, the judge denied both defendants and plaintiffs more time for salvaging the deal. He continued, “The docket should reflect the plea is withdrawn.”
According to Orthofix CEO Robert Vaters, the company is still working with lawyers at the U.S. Justice Department for concluding this case. He said, "The company and the government stand behind their agreements and continue to discuss a resolution of the matter that will be acceptable to the court. We remain confident that this matter will be resolved amicably and in a manner that is in the best interests of our shareholders."