Gary L. Azorsky is a partner at Cohen Milstein and chair of the firm’s Whistleblower/False Claims Act practice. Mr. Azorsky joined Cohen Milstein in 2012, establishing the practice. He pursues whistleblower cases under the federal and state false claims act statutes in the health care, pharmaceutical, banking and defense contractor industries and other industries that conduct business with the government. Mr. Azorsky specializes in the complex, highly detailed process for filing and pursuing these cases. In his practice, he has helped right wrongs and recovered nearly $2.5 billion in defrauded funds for federal and state governments, including hundreds of millions of dollars for whistleblower clients.
Mr. Azorsky served as co-lead counsel in the qui tam action against the pharmaceutical company Wyeth pending in the District of Massachusetts, in which more states joined to intervene along with the government of the United States than had ever before intervened in a qui tam action. (United States of America et al., ex rel. Lauren Kieff, v. Wyeth, No.1:03-CV-12366-DPW [D.Mass.].) The $784.6 million settlement was the seventh-largest False Claims Act recovery on record and the second-largest recovery in history involving a single class of drugs. In the prosecution of this case, he worked alongside Department of Justice attorneys and states Attorneys General throughout the 12-year pendency of the case.
Mr. Azorsky has also been actively involved in precedent-setting cases, such as the series of Ven-A-Care cases, which were among the first large FCA multi-state cases and laid the groundwork for much of the false claims act litigation that goes on today. He has also represented whistleblowers in False Claims Act cases involving defense contractors, off-label marketing and misbranding by pharmaceutical companies and fraud in connection with the banking industry, for-profit colleges and student loan programs. In addition, Mr. Azorsky represents whistleblowers in tax fraud claims against large and small corporations through the IRS Whistleblower Office, as well as whistleblowers alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and violations of the federal securities laws filed with the SEC Whistleblower Office.
Mr. Azorsky served as co-counsel for the whistleblower on the following representative matters:
- United States of America ex rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. v. Dey Laboratories, et al., Civil Action No. 05-11084 (D. Mass) ($280 Million settlement in December 2010)
- United States of America ex rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. v. Boehringer Ingelheim Corp, et al., Civil Action No. 07-10248 (D. Mass.) ($280 Million settlement in December, 2010)
- Florida ex rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. v. Boehringer Ingelheim Corp, et al., Civil Action No. 98-3-32A (Leon Cty., Fla.) ($6.5 Million settlement with Dey Laboratories, Inc. in March 2010)
- Florida ex rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. v. Boehringer Ingelheim Corp, et al., Civil Action No. 98-3-32A (Leon Cty., Fla.) ($9.57 Million settlement with Schering-Plough in December 2009)
- Florida ex rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. v. Boehringer Ingelheim Corp, et al., Civil Action No. 98-3-32A (Leon Cty., Fla.) ($8.5 Million settlement with Boehringer Ingelheim in December 2009)
- Texas ex rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. v. Roxane Laboratories, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ben Venue Laboratories, Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation, Civil Action No. GV3-03079 (Travis Cty., Tex.) ($10 Million settlement with Boehringer Ingelheim in November 2005)
- Texas ex rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. v. Warrick Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Schering Plough Corporation, Schering Corporation, Civil Action No. GV002327 (Travis Cty., Tex.) ($27 Million settlement with Schering-Plough in May 2004)
- Texas ex rel. Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. v. Dey, Inc., Dey, L.P., Civil Action No. GV002327 (Travis Cty., Tex.) ($18.5 Million settlement with Dey Laboratories, Inc. in June 2003)
Mr. Azorsky is recognized for his expertise. He has served as an expert witness in a legal malpractice case concerning qui tam practice. He has provided expert guidance on the False Claims Act in congressional hearings, as well as before the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the passage of a False Claims Act for the state. In addition, he regularly speaks before professional audiences regarding the federal and state False Claims Acts.
Mr. Azorsky is a member of Taxpayers Against Fraud, a nonprofit, public interest organization dedicated to combating fraud against the Federal Government through the promotion and use of the Federal False Claims Act and its qui tam provisions. Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, in addition to his Whistleblower/False Claims Act practice, he was actively involved in groundbreaking civil rights, commercial and intellectual property litigation, including Internet and software industry-related litigation.
Mr. Azorsky is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. in English, and received his law degree from Cornell Law School.