FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: The National Journal spotlights Pharma lawsuit

FOIA News (2017)Allan BlutsteinComment

This King & Spalding FOIA Suit Hinges on Whether a Government Source Is Person or Company

By C. Ryan Barber, Nat'l Law J., Sept. 7, 2017 

A federal judge in Washington has kept alive a lawsuit from King & Spalding that seeks records from federal enforcement and regulatory agencies about information the firm believes was at the heart of an investigation targeting a pharmaceutical client.

The firm last year sued the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for records about the government’s investigation of the Massachusetts-based medical device company Abiomed Inc. The Justice Department investigated claims but did not bring any action against Abiomed over the marketing of the heart pump Impella 2.5, the company said in 2015.

Abiomed received some records from federal investigators, but not everything. At issue in the case now: 67 pages of records that, if released to the public, could reveal the identity of an unnamed source who provided information to the government. Justice Department lawyers argued in the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that disclosure of certain records “would invade the privacy of third parties.”

Read more here.