Whistleblowers Expose Fraudulent Activity Against Federal Government

Michael Lin Baum

Michael Lin Baum

The president of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman in Los Angeles, California, Michael Lin Baum has litigated a wide variety of cases ranging from wrongful death lawsuits to catastrophic injury claims. Michael Lin Baum has also successfully defended whistleblowers who expose individuals or organizations that defraud the government.

As much at 10 percent of public expenditure in the United States may be diverted by waste and fraud. Obtaining money from the government by means of deception is prohibited under the U.S. False Claims Act (FCA). Passed during the Civil War to discourage vendors from defrauding the Union army, it brought profiteers to justice but was rarely used until the 1980s.
To date, billions of dollars have been reclaimed under the FCA and other similar legislation. Individuals who report fraud as “whistleblowers” are also eligible to receive a percentage of any recovered funds and are protected against retaliation from defendants.

Whistleblower cases fall into several categories, and can include overcharging or selling defective equipment to the Armed Forces or making false Medicare or Medicaid claims.

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Celexa and Birth Defects – An Area of Legal Focus

Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman pic

Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman
Image: baumhedlundlaw.com

Michael Lin Baum is a respected Southern California lawyer who engages as managing partner with Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman. Taking on major corporations, Michael Lin Baum has represented numerous plaintiffs in pharmaceutical drug catastrophe cases.

One area of focus centers on birth defects associated with the antidepressant Citalopram, which is marketed as Celexa. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) is prescribed in treating conditions such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Produced by Forest Laboratories, Celexa is marketed alongside the pharmacologically similar, but more potent SSRI Lexapro.

Celexa was initially classified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a category C drug that had not been tested on pregnant women, but which had harmful side effects demonstrated through animal testing on fetuses. In 2005, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory focused on SSRI antidepressants, and the following year a specific warning was issued against Celexa.

In particular, newborns are more likely to be born with life-threatening persistent pulmonary hypertension. This issue is the focus of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman’s work concerning the link between Celexa prescriptions and birth defects.