A federal judge in Pennsylvania this week dismissed with leave to amend False Claims Act allegations suggesting Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) offered free services and support to customers to entice them to buy its medical devices on grounds that the suit did not clearly identify how the support services crossed the line and acted as kickbacks.
The claims allege that Medtronic “paid healthcare providers illegal kickbacks in the form of free services and staff to induce providers to choose the defendant’s products over those of its competitors,” according to court documents.
Medtronic filed to dismiss the amended complaint, claiming that providing customer support did not qualify as an illegal kickback.
Pennsylvania federal judge Edward Smith reviewed the submission and granted a motion to dismiss the amended complaint without prejudice.
“Because the relator has failed to plead the details of the alleged kickback scheme with sufficient particularity, she has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,” Judge Smith wrote in court documents.
In February, Medtronic got a temporary reprieve in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former sales rep over its Verte-Stack spine implants