Business Litigation Lawyers for Laboratories
Laboratories can face litigation on a number of different fronts. Our lawyers provide representation for all types of civil, commercial, and governmental matters.
As a laboratory owner or executive, the risk of litigation is probably one of the main concerns that keeps you up at night. While you think you are doing everything you can to protect your lab from litigation, there are simply too many factors that are beyond your control. Patient complaints, disputes with vendors and suppliers, and government investigations are all very real concerns, and they can all lead to litigation despite your best efforts to prevent this from happening.
At Oberheiden P.C., we provide legal representation for laboratories facing all types of litigation. We serve as both plaintiff’s and defense counsel, and we handle cases ranging from patient lawsuits to U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) enforcement matters. We have extensive experience representing labs and other businesses in all types of commercial litigation as well, and our senior attorneys rely on centuries of relevant experience to develop and execute effective litigation strategies for our clients.
Types of Matters We Handle
No matter what your laboratory’s litigation needs may be, our senior lawyers have relevant experience and can provide representation that is custom-tailored to the nature and scope of those needs. Representative areas in which we provide legal representation for laboratories include:
Patient and Family Lawsuits
Patients and families file lawsuits against clinical testing laboratories on a variety of different grounds. We serve as defense counsel for personal injury and wrongful death litigation involving allegations of failure to supply test results, providing inaccurate test results, and other similar types of claims.
Litigation Involving Healthcare Entities
Legal disputes between laboratories and other healthcare entities can involve a variety of different issues as well. In addition to indemnification litigation arising out of patient and family lawsuits, we represent labs in litigation involving payment disputes and other commercial matters.
Litigation Involving Test Manufacturers and Other Commercial Parties
We represent laboratories in litigation against test manufacturers and other commercial parties. This includes suppliers, vendors, and property owners (lessors), among others. Our senior attorneys serve as both plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel for labs in commercial disputes; and, if your lab is being sued, we can determine whether you have any counterclaims or third-party claims available.
Disputes among laboratory shareholders will often lead to litigation. In many cases, shareholder agreements will require mediation or arbitration (or both). Our lawyers can provide representation for these alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings as well; and, when warranted, we can work toward achieving an amicable result focused on protecting the lab’s business.
Like all businesses, laboratories face employment-related litigation risks. We represent labs in defense of harassment, wrongful termination, and other employee claims. We also represent labs that need to take legal action against current and former employees who have misappropriated their confidential and proprietary information.
HHS OIG Investigations
Among their many federal compliance obligations, clinical laboratories are subject to the oversight of the HHS OIG. Laboratories that fail to maintain adequate HHS OIG compliance can quickly find themselves facing invasive and high-risk investigations. We have extensive experience in HHS OIG compliance and enforcement matters, and several of our senior lawyers and consultants previously handled these matters on behalf of the federal government.
Other Government Investigations
In addition to HHS OIG, several other government agencies conduct investigations targeting laboratories and other healthcare entities. Our federal defense experience includes representing labs and other entities in matters involving the DOJ, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other agencies.
About Our Litigation Services
Litigation has several phases, and not every matter will necessarily involve every phase. In fact, in many cases the goal is to achieve a favorable result before a particular phase begins (i.e. discovery or trial). At Oberheiden P.C., we are skilled at protecting our clients at all phases of litigation, and we take a strategic approach focused on protecting our client’s interests as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
Our senior litigation attorneys provide representation for:
- Internal Investigations – When facing potential litigation, conducting an internal investigation is a crucial first step for making informed and strategic decisions. We conduct these investigations on behalf of our clients in order to prevent potential conflicts of interest and to establish and protect the attorney-client privilege.
- External Investigations – HHS OIG, DOJ, and other federal agency investigations can lead to costly and high-risk litigation if not managed effectively. We have extensive experience in federal investigations specifically within the healthcare sector, and we can work to resolve your lab’s investigation without civil or criminal charges being filed.
- Pre–Litigation Matters – In many cases, it will be possible to avoid protracted litigation by taking a proactive stance during the pre-litigation phase. Whether we are dealing with a private party or a government agency, we can work to favorably resolve your lab’s issues before they go to court.
- Discovery – Strategic use of the discovery process can afford significant benefits in litigation. We take advantage of the discovery process to gather the information our clients need, protect their information to the greatest extent possible, and position their cases for favorable pre-trial resolutions.
- Pre–Trial Practice and Settlement Negotiations – Many contentious disputes get resolved during the pre-trial phase. If your lab’s dispute proceeds past discovery, we will use the available pre-trial motions and procedures to establish leverage for negotiating a settlement (or seek dismissal, if appropriate).
- Trial Litigation – Our senior lawyers excel in trial litigation. They have litigated cases involving an extraordinarily broad range of issues in federal district courts across the country, and many have prior experience as trial litigators at the DOJ.
- Appellate Litigation – When necessary, we also serve as appellate counsel for our clients. If your lab’s case goes to trial, we will seek to preserve all available grounds for pursuing an appeal should it become necessary for us to do so.
FAQs: What Should Laboratory Owners and Executives Expect in Litigation?
How Often Do HHS OIG Lab Investigations Lead to Litigation?
HHS OIG lab investigations frequently lead to litigation. With that said, it is possible to avoid litigation in many cases with the help of experienced defense counsel. In fact, at Oberheiden P.C., we have been successful in resolving the substantial majority of our clients’ HHS OIG cases at the investigative stage. When you engage Oberheiden P.C. to represent your laboratory, we will get to work immediately, and we will focus our efforts on favorably resolving the investigation without charges being filed.
When Should Laboratories Engage Litigation Counsel?
Laboratories (and all businesses) should engage litigation counsel at the first sign that a business dispute has the potential to require or result in legal action. Engaging litigation counsel promptly can significantly improve the odds of obtaining a favorable out-of-court resolution, while delays can make it more difficult to achieve a favorable result without going to court. If you have any concerns about a potential or ongoing dispute, we encourage you to contact us right away for a complimentary case assessment.
How Often Do Lawsuits Filed By Patients and Families Against Labs Result in Settlement?
The outcome of any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is entirely dependent upon the specific facts and circumstances involved. When we defend labs against these types of lawsuits, we start from the position that dismissal is the desired outcome. We never target a settlement unless it is truly in our client’s best interests to do so. As your lab’s defense counsel, we will advise you regarding the plaintiff’s likelihood of success in court, and we will help you make informed decisions about how best to approach your lab’s defense.
What if My Lab Isn’t Directly Responsible for a Patient’s Injury or Death (or Another Party’s Alleged Losses)?
Laboratories will frequently face lawsuits arising out of factors that are beyond their control. For example, plaintiffs’ lawyers will often include labs as defendants in product liability litigation involving allegedly defective tests. This is based on the “chain of distribution” theory, which establishes strict liability for all companies involved in delivering a defective product to a consumer. In these types of cases, labs should be able to avoid ultimate liability by seeking indemnification or pursuing other appropriate claims against the test’s manufacturer.
Why Do Laboratories Choose Oberheiden P.C. for Litigation?
Laboratories choose Oberheiden P.C. because our lawyers have particular experience representing labs and other healthcare entities and because we have a proven track record of success in investigations and litigation. Lab owners and executives place value on our senior lawyers’ and consultants’ prior DOJ and HHS OIG experience as well. If your lab needs litigation counsel, we can help, and we encourage you to contact us to learn more.
Speak with a Senior Litigation Attorney about Your Lab’s Needs
Oberheiden P.C. has trusted business litigation lawyers for laboratories. For more information about our experience representing clinical laboratories in investigations and litigation, please call 888-680-1745 or contact us online. We will arrange for you to speak with one of our senior litigation attorneys in confidence as soon as possible.