Whistleblowers play an important role in exposing corruption and wrongdoing. Not everyone who raises a concern about a possible violation or engages in another protected activity makes headlines. However, some whistleblowers have exposed large-scale misconduct and egregious offenses resulting in massive fines. Most people are familiar with these whistleblower cases:
- Big tobacco: Jeffrey Wigand was the Vice President of research and development at Brown & Williamson Tabacco Co. He exposed safety problems regarding tobacco ingredients. Specifically, he stated that the company had intentionally manipulated the nicotine levels in cigarette smoke to make it more addictive. He appeared on 60 Minutes.
- Nixon administration: The Watergate scandal started when five men broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters. At the time, the White House denied involvement. However, an anonymous source leaked classified information to Washington Post reporters that revealed the connection to President Richard Nixon. Nixon eventually resigned over the matter. The whistleblower, Mark Felt, revealed his identity in 2005.
- Pfizer: In the largest health care fraud settlement in history, multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Pfizer was ordered to pay 2.3 billion dollars to resolve criminal and civil allegations. Whistleblowers charged that the company misbranded a painkiller called Bextra (valdecoxib) by promoting off-label uses not approved by the FDA. Mr. Shoemaker represented one of the eight successful relators in this fraud case.
Contact a Skilled Whistleblower Attorney for Free
You may be aware of potential healthcare fraud, financial industry fraud, pharmaceutical fraud, or other types of misdeeds. Exposing the behavior will help hold the wrongdoers accountable. However, you need to seek legal counsel and figure out how to take the appropriate action.
Contact experienced whistleblower attorney James H. Shoemaker, Jr. at 757-223-4580 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. As a partner in the firm Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein (PWHD), Mr. Shoemaker serves clients from Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Washington D.C., and across the country. He can advise you on the available protections.