It wasn’t in the media articles we reviewed for our story back on November 6, but we have since found out that the same Texas qui tam attorneys that were hired by the Texas OAG a few years ago were behind the recent $5.1 million dental settlement in Indiana.
Charles Siegel, Daniel Hargrove and James R. Moriarty represented Dr. Jihaad Abdul-Majid, the whistleblower in the Samson Dental Partners/ImmediaDent case per a press release published online November 2 by the Law Office of James Moriarty.
Abdul-Majid will receive $925,000 plus expenses, attorneys’ fees and costs. Samson Dental Partners/ ImmediaDent did not admit guilt in the settlement and in their release said they settled for business reasons.
The case was originally filed back in February of 2013.
Same lawyers hired by Texas OAG
Only a few months later in May of 2013, Siegel, Hargrove and Moriarty were hired and paid $250,000 by the Texas Office of the Attorney General to represent the state in the administrative hearing against Antoine Dental Center of Houston.
Antoine prevailed at the hearing as the judges from the State Office of Administrative Hearings found in its favor. There was much more to the travail which is summarized in this article as Antoine was forced by the state to go to district court and then the Court of Appeal which again found in its favor.
Didn’t win in Texas case
So these lawyers did not prevail in Texas and, perhaps if Samson Dental had stuck it out, they might have prevailed in court as well if they did nothing wrong. Unfortunately, the expedient of a significant settlement always leaves doubt that can be used against one in the future. This isn’t a strategy that is suggested in “Truth Decay” by Dr. Juan D. Villarreal, TDMR’s founder.
The takeaway here is that if you are a large practice or DSO, there are guys gunning for you − waiting for you to slip up or find someone who said you did.
If you don’t believe it, watch this.