A federal appeals court has revived a False Claims Act lawsuit against Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb over anti-blood clotting drug Plavix, finding a change in relators was not precluded by the act’s first-to-file bar.
The judge below dismissed the case after one of the three people in the partnership filing the suit withdrew from the case and was replaced. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reinstated the case, addressing a question that caused a split among the circuits when it found that the first-to-file bar is not jurisdictional. In arriving at that ruling, the panel sided with the D.C. Circuit and the First and Second circuits, and parted ways with the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Tenth circuits.