A federal judge in Illinois yesterday approved a settlement agreement between Stericycle (NSDQ:SRCL) and the plaintiff in a whistleblower lawsuit accusing the medical waste disposal company of overbilling federal and state governments to the tune of some $13.6 million.
Jennifer Perez, a government customer relations specialist at Lake Forest, Ill.-based Stericycle from 2004 until March 2008, filed a qui tam lawsuit in 2008 alleging that the company imposed illegal, 18% price increases on federal agencies and 14 states and the District of Columbia with fixed-price contracts.
New York agreed to settle its portion of the case in January 2013 for $2.4 million, according to court documents, and the rest of the parties inked a deal after mediated negotiations.
Judge William Hart of the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois yesterday approved the settlement, which calls for a $26.75 million payment to the federal and state governments and a $1.75 million payment to cover Perez’s legal costs.
Perez herself is in line for a nearly $5.7 million share of the settlement, according to the documents.
SRCL shares were down -1.8% to $118.45 apiece today in mid-afternoon trading.