Zimmer Holdings (NYSE:ZMH) is suing another law firm over an ad campaign that allegedly makes false and defamatory statements about its NexGen knee implant.
The lawsuit accuses Ohio law office Elk & Elk Co. of running Internet and television spots aimed at Zimmer customers which stated that the NexGen device "has a high failure rate, causes pain, has resulted in the recall of the NexGen CR-Flex product and is otherwise defective," according to court documents.
"Defendant made these statements knowingly, in order to attract potential clients for personal injury cases," according to the documents filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio.
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In February, Zimmer slapped a similar suit on a trio of firms that ran similar campaigns aimed at NexGen patients. In the Ohio suit, the company claims a rate of revision surgeries that’s "among the lowest rate of revision in national joint replacement registries around the world,” according to the documents.
The Ohio suit seeks a jury trial, "actual, presumed, special, and punitive damages," pre- and post-judgment interest, injunctions barring further defamation, an order that Elk run ads correcting any statements found to be misleading and "to apologize for Elk’s unlawful conduct," according to the documents.
Mass. AG probes Allergan
Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley’s office wants Allergan (NYSE:AGN) to cough up documents as part of a Medicaid fraud probe, according to a regulatory filing.
Allergan said Coakley’s office sent a civil investigative demand in September, seeking "documents and information relating to the company’s Eye Care Business Advisor Group, Allergan Access and BSM Connect for Ophthalmology," according to the filing.
In July, the U.S. Justice Dept. filed a false claim acts suit against Allergan, alleging that the company promoted off-label uses for its eye-care drugs.
"Allergan has provided ophthalmologists with free or below-market cost patient kits which included Acular LS, Pred Forte and Zymar. In addition to these prescription drug products, Allergan’s patient kits included several ophthalmological care items, such as eye patches and dressings, sunglasses and a carrying case labeled with Allergan’s logo and/or the name and logo of the ophthalmologist," according to the DOJ’s complaint.
The kits broke off-label promotion rules by promoting the drugs for unapproved indications, according to the lawsuit, and also broke anti-kickback laws "because their contents, offered either for free or well below market value, comprised an inducement for physicians to prescribe Acular LS instead of competing [drugs]."