Law360, New York (September 30, 2015, 8:53 PM ET) -- The First
Circuit told a Massachusetts federal court to rethink blocking a
whistleblower from amending his suit alleging a Covidien
Ltd. unit got Medicare to illegally fund off-label uses for its
blood-blockage device on Wednesday.
The three-judge panel said the lower court had applied the wrong
legal standard when it ruled that former ev3 Inc. salesman Jeffrey
D'Agostino couldn't amend his complaint a fourth time. Because U.S.
District Judge Richard G. Stearns hadn't set a deadline for
amending the pleadings, he shouldn't have applied the more rigorous
standard that governs motions to amend after such a cutoff.
"The relator could not be expected to divine from the district
court's silence that future amendments were either off limits or
would be subjected to a more stringent standard of review," the
appellate panel said.
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