In an interview with The Defender, the lawyer representing whistleblower Brook Jackson said Pfizer is arguing the court should dismiss Jackson’s lawsuit alleging fraud in Pfizer’s COVID-19 clinical trials because the U.S. government knew about the wrongdoings but continued to do business with the vaccine maker.
A lawsuit filed by whistleblower Brook Jackson alleging Pfizer and two of its contractors manipulated data and committed other acts of fraud during Pfizer’s COVID-19 clinical trials is paused following a motion by the defendants to dismiss the case.
In an interview with The Defender, Jackson’s lawyer said Pfizer argued the lawsuit, which was filed under the False Claims Act, should be dismissed because the U.S. government knew of the wrongdoings in the clinical trials but continued to do business with the vaccine maker.
Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers can be rewarded for confidentially disclosing fraud that results in a financial loss to the federal government.
However, a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision that expanded the scope of a legal principle known as “materiality” resulted in a series of federal court decisions in which fraud cases brought under the False Claims Act were dismissed.
As interpreted by the Supreme Court, if the government continued paying a contractor despite the contractor’s fraudulent activity, the fraud was not considered “material” to the contract.
“Pfizer claims they can get away with fraud as long as the government would write them a check despite knowing about the fraud,” attorney Robert Barnes said.
In an attempt to strengthen the False Claims Act’s anti-retaliation provisions and install new safeguards against industry-level blacklisting of whistleblowers seeking employment, Congress in July 2021 introduced the False Claims Amendments Act of 2021.
Pfizer previously was heavily fined in connection with the False Claims Act. As part of a 2009 settlement, the company paid $2.3 billion in fines — the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the history of the U.S. Department of Justice — stemming from allegations of illegal marketing of off-label products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Pfizer, one of the most criminally fined drug companies in the world, wants to weaken the laws that hold them accountable,” Barnes told The Defender.
Congress has taken no action on the False Claims Amendments Act since November 2021, when the bill was added to the Senate’s legislative calendar.
Barnes said the outcome of Jackson’s case against Pfizer is significant not just for his client, but also for the American public.
“This case will determine if Big Pharma can rip off the American people using a dangerous drug that harms millions without any legal remedy because they claim the government was in on the scam.”
Jackson was a regional director for Ventavia for a brief period in 2020 but was fired after she notified the FDA about issues with Pfizer’s vaccine trials.
After she was fired, she gave The BMJ a cache of internal company documents, photos and recordings highlighting the alleged wrongdoing by Ventavia.
The documents she provided contained evidence of falsified data, blind trial failures and awareness on the part of at least one Ventavia executive that members of the company’s staff were “falsifying data.”
Jackson’s documents also provided evidence of administrators who had “no training” or medical certifications, or who provided “very little oversight” during the trials.
Jackson filed her complaint in August 2021, in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, alleging Pfizer, Ventavia and ICON “deliberately withheld crucial information from the United States that calls the safety and efficacy of their vaccine into question.”
According to the complaint, Jackson, who had more than 15 years of experience working with clinical trials, “repeatedly informed her superiors of poor laboratory management, patient safety concerns and data integrity issues” during the approximately two weeks she was employed by Ventavia.
“Brook [Jackson] brought a Qui Tam action and a retaliatory discharge case against Pfizer and others for fraud on the people concerning Pfizer’s false certifications to the U.S. Department of Defense about the safety and efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine,” Barnes said.
A Qui Tam case refers to a provision under the False Claims Act that allows individuals and entities with evidence of fraud against federal programs or contracts to sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the U.S. government
“She was part of the clinical trials, witnessed extraordinary malfeasance, blew the whistle, and was quickly fired after she blew the whistle.”
Barnes said his legal team will in August file its opposition brief to Pfizer’s motion to dismiss, and the judge may rule on the motion to dismiss by fall 2022.
© 2022 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.
They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
For us to continue to deliver the truth that Americans need to read and hear, we ask you, our amazing audience, for financial assistance. We just launched a GiveSendGo page to help us pay the bills. It’s brand new so don’t be discouraged by the lack of donations there. It’s a funny reality that the fewer the donations that have been made, the less likely people are willing to donate to it. One would think this is counterintuitive, but sometimes people are skeptical because they think that perhaps there’s a reason others haven’t been donating. In our situation, we’re just getting started so please don’t be shy if you have the means to help.
Thank you and God bless!
All ORIGINAL content on this site is © 2021 NOQ Report. All REPUBLISHED content has received direct or implied permission for reproduction.
With that said, our content may be reproduced and distributed as long as it has a link to the original source and the author is credited prominently. We don’t mind you using our content as long as you help out by giving us credit with a prominent link. If you feel like giving us a tip for the content, we will not object!
JD Rucker – EIC