A Medical Device Daily

Richard Scrushy, founder and former head of rehabilitation conglomerate HealthSouth (Birmingham, Alabama), is claiming that a tough sentencing in a case of political bribery is the result of his being acquitted last year in the case involving the multi-billion-dollar inflation of HealthSouth’s financial reports.

Scrushy and former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, who was found guilty of accepting money from Scrushy in exchange for placing him on a state hospital board, criticized prosecutors’ recommendation that they both serve 25 or more years in prison.

Federal prosecutors in a court filing said Scrushy should be sentenced to 25 years in prison and Siegelman should to be sentenced to 30 years.

Scrushy’s lawyer said prosecutors were wrong in their assessment and said the recommendation suggested prosecutorial revenge. “The idea of sentencing Richard Scrushy to 25 years in prison for a political contribution clearly demonstrates that the government is intent on punishing Richard Scrushy for his acquittal in Birmingham.”

Siegelman has maintained the case is politically motivated, also implying that the intent constitutes retaliation.

Prosecutors spelled out objections to the pre-sentencing report prepared by probation officers and argued that the defendants should receive maximum jail time and fines.

“Defendant Siegelman and his co-conspirators utilized every opportunity to extract money through the uses of Siegelman’s political power,” they wrote.

A jury last year convicted Siegelman and Scrushy of conspiracy, mail fraud and bribery, specifically arranging $500,000 in donations to Siegelman’s 1999 lottery campaign.

In other legalities: Rick Wise, an analyst with Bear Stearns (New York), has issued a report saying that a law firm is currently “gathering information” concerning a recall by American Medical Optics (AMO; Santa Ana, California), of its Moisture Plus (MP) solution.

Wise said that the firm Juroviesky and Ricci LLP (Toronto/New York) is developing material for a lawsuit “addressing Canadian patient-related costs only.” Wise said that the law suit “could also include health related costs if the solution is found to be linked to eye diseases in Canada and could also expand to include patients in the U.S.

Wise estimates that product-related expenses for AMO could range from $50 to $100 per patient.

He said that Canadian Department of Health continues to work with patients in order to understand if any linkage between the solution and eye infections can be found.

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