The company that manufactured the medical devices tied to a deadly “superbug” outbreak in California is being investigated by the United States Justice Department. The Associated Press reports Olympus Corp. of the Americas (an arm of Japan’s Olympus Corp.) is being investigated for possible violations of false claims and anti-kickback laws.
Olympus disclosed on February 6 that it has been under federal investigation since 2011 for possible violations of laws that typically ban improper payments to doctors or other customers. In a company statement, Olympus indicated it is talking with the Justice Department in an effort to reach a settlement or solution to the case. But importantly, Olympus notes its financial results could be adversely affected.
The latest issues involving the endoscopes supplied by Olympus to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for endoscopic procedures could further hurt the company financially. At least two patients have died following surgeries performed using the Olympus equipment, and reports link their deaths to the superbug outbreak that is receiving so much media coverage. If it turns out there were defects in the Olympus equipment, or if Olympus failed to supply proper instructions for cleaning the equipment, the Olympus may be facing product liability lawsuits.