BRENTWOOD, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Meridian Surgical Partners, LLC, a national operator of outpatient ambulatory surgery centers, announced today that it has settled a qui tam lawsuit brought by a former employee at one of its centers.
“While the allegations in the lawsuit were completely without merit, we chose to settle this action to avoid the financial costs and distractions that would have come with further legal proceedings,” said John Wilson, CEO of Meridian. “We are pleased the Government declined to intervene in this lawsuit and we are pleased to have the lingering litigation with the relator behind us and have our sights on a variety of strategic opportunities for our growing company.”
While denying any liability, Meridian agreed to pay the U.S. government $3.32 million, a small fraction of the $100 million originally demanded by the plaintiff, Thomas Reed Simmons.
In a qui tam lawsuit, a plaintiff brings an action alleging misuse of government funds, in this case Medicare funds. The U.S. Department of Justice then reviews the merits of the allegations and decides whether to join the lawsuit. If the government declines to join the suit, as it did in this case in 2012, the plaintiff can still proceed. If there is a settlement, the proceeds are awarded to the government and the plaintiff then receives a percentage of those proceeds.
The lawsuit, filed in 2011, related to Meridian’s purchase of a majority interest in Treasure Coast Surgery Center in Stuart, FL, and its subsequent sale of minority interests in the center to physicians. Simmons is a former employee of the center. Trial was set to begin in this case on September 23, 2014.
ABOUT MERIDIAN SURGICAL PARTNERS
Meridian Surgical Partners specializes in the acquisition, development and management of spine and orthopedic-driven ambulatory surgery centers. Meridian acquires interests in established physician-owned ASCs and partners with physicians to develop new ASCs. Meridian is currently in partnership with 13 ASCs in 10 states across the country.
Founded by veterans of the healthcare industry with the vision of creating a superior model for outpatient surgery, Meridian Surgical Partners brings together a powerful combination of business acumen, physician relationships, and clinical expertise. Meridian Surgical Partners is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, approximately 15 miles south of Nashville. Learn more at meridiansurgicalpartners.com.