A Boston personal injury company agreed to pay $ 300,000 for alleged drugstore bribes that included a yacht trip and a vacation outing, the AG’s office said.
Keches Law Group PC “has admitted to referring approximately 800 of its clients and potential clients to Injured Workers Pharmacy to fill prescriptions in exchange for payments totaling approximately $ 90,000,” Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said.
A judge has yet to approve the deal, but that avoids a trial.
“Law firms shouldn’t break the law, and they certainly shouldn’t profit from their clients’ injuries through illegal bribes,” Healey said, adding that the deal “directs the funds. indispensable to our State “.
The AG said the case involved “two deals” with Injured Workers Pharmacy paying for Keches social events – including an X1 racing event, a yacht outing and a nearly $ 24,000 vacation lunch – “in exchange for referrals”.
The fine money will be used for the state’s municipal bulk naloxone purchase trust fund, at $ 100,000, and $ 200,000 will go to the general fund for penalties, fees and charges. costs.
Naloxone is used to reverse opioid overdoses.
Injured Workers Pharmacy, the AG pointed out, paid an $ 11 million settlement a year ago to resolve allegations that it “failed to put adequate safeguards in place against illegal and dangerous distribution, resulting in shipping thousands of prescriptions for potentially illegitimate controlled substances across the country. “
Keches Law Group Managing Partner Sean Flaherty said in a statement to Law360 that “We have entered into a Joint Consent Agreement with the Commonwealth in support of the public interest to avoid more time and expense of litigation, and especially since no one was hurt. This matter, now fully and definitively resolved, with elimination of the alleged claim, is now behind us. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers as we have always done.
The AG added that Keches is now required to obtain informed consent from its clients in writing before making recommendations for money.
The $ 300,000 the company has to pay is more than three times the amount of illegal bribes Keches would have accepted under the program, the GA added.
Last year, Healey said the Andover-based Injured Workers Pharmacy “created an illegal operation that puts the speed and volume of distribution ahead of patient and public safety.”
Healey added, “They have issued thousands of prescriptions for dangerous drugs, including opioids like fentanyl, with a shocking lack of consideration as to the legitimacy of those prescriptions. Tackling the opioid epidemic remains a top priority in my office and we will aggressively prosecute those who break our laws to take advantage of this crisis. “