Attorneys reported 37 million-dollar settlements to Virginia Lawyers Weekly in 2010, one more than in 2009.
Personal injury cases dominated the list, with 28 settlements in that category, including seven medical malpractice cases and two products liability cases. Six cases were eminent domain actions.
Two of the four largest settlements were in a category not seen in the 2009 list – federal and state False Claim Act actions.
The largest, $313 million, involved civil and criminal payments by Forest Laboratories Inc. to resolve allegations that it had marketed anti-depressant drugs for unapproved pediatric use and paid kickbacks to physicians to prescribe the drugs.
The other False Claim Act case was based on allegations that the nationwide “Small Smiles” chain of dentist offices had charged Medicaid for unneeded procedures. The settlement there was for $24 million.
Both cases started with claims by Virginia residents – a sales rep in Richmond in the Forest Lab case and a dental assistant in Roanoke in the “Small Smiles” case.
The third largest case, $36 million, was a fiercely contested eminent domain action over a 10-acre expansion to a sewage treatment plant in Alexandria.
The largest personal injury settlement, $4.3 million, went to a 20-year Air Force veteran and government contractor who suffered a brain injury in a motor vehicle accident that required a partial frontal lobectomy.
Synopses of the cases can be found here.