Court Overturns $347M Jury Verdict Against Consulate Health Care

On January 11, a federal judge in Tampa, Florida, granted Skadden’s motion for judgment as a matter of law in an action brought by a purported whistleblower (or “relator”) against five entities in firm client Consulate Health Care, LLC’s nationwide network of skilled nursing facilities. Prior to Skadden’s involvement in the case, the relator won an approximately $347.9 million total judgment against the Consulate entities after a jury trial. The relator argued at trial that certain Consulate facilities had committed fraud by allegedly billing certain patient claims to Medicare and the Florida Medicaid program without sufficient supporting documentation. Skadden entered the case after entry of the judgment and moved to overturn the jury’s verdict, winning a stay of execution of the judgment without bond pending resolution of the firm’s motion. The court granted Skadden’s motion on January 11, holding that the relator had “offered no meaningful and competent proof” of her claims at trial, finding that the jury’s verdict “cannot stand,” and vacating the judgment against the Consulate entities in its entirety.