Colette G. Matzzie
Colette G. Matzzie represents whistleblowers in a wide variety of qui tam cases brought under the federal False Claims Act and similar state false claims laws. Her practice includes pursuing fraud cases against pharmaceutical and medical device companies, hospitals, home health care providers and a wide variety of government contractors and federal program participants.
Ms. Matzzie has been named one of the "500 Leading Lawyers in America" for the past five years by Lawdragon magazine based on her work representing whistleblowers. Some of her more prominent cases are:
- A qui tam case brought under the False Claims Act against Verizon Communications that resulted in a settlement of $93.5 million.
- A whistleblower case against Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), which paid $95 million to the government to settle allegations that BI marketed three of its drugs for “off-label” uses and paid kickbacks to boost sales.
- A whistleblower case against Sodexo involving illegal retention of “off-invoice rebates” paid by food vendors from public schools and universities that were in effect kickbacks. The $20 million settlement was the largest non-Medicaid fraud settlement under the New York False Claims Act.
- A qui tam whistleblower case against Chartwells, a school food services contractor, for allegedly serving poor quality or spoiled food to students and causing Washington, DC, public schools to pay millions more for the school meal program than it should have. The case settled for $19.4 million.
- A whistleblower case brought by a doctor that resulted in stopping illegal importation of oncology drugs.
- Two path-breaking cases alleging submission of false claims for Social Security Disability benefits by two private disability insurers, the Unum Group and Cigna.
Ms. Matzzie's whistleblower cases have involved violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), the Medical Device Amendments to the FDCA, the Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987, the Stark Act (physician self-referral law) and the Medicare and Medicaid Anti-Kickback Statute.
An experienced appellate litigator, Ms. Matzzie has played a lead role in litigation of whistleblower cases, arguing cases in federal district court as well as in the federal Court of Appeals. She also assists counsel for other whistleblowers with cases in the federal Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Matzzie has spoken at conferences on legal issues arising under the False Claims Act and amendments to the qui tam law.
Prior to joining Phillips & Cohen, Ms. Matzzie served on the civil appellate staff of the U.S. Department of Justice for five years. In addition, she served as a trial attorney on the Justice Department’s tobacco litigation team and received a special commendation for her work. From 1995 to 1999, Ms. Matzzie was a staff attorney with Public Citizen Litigation Group where she litigated cases concerning public health and safety, access to information, consumer protection, separation of powers and access to the civil justice system. In 1998 and 1999, she taught "Public Interest Advocacy" as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
Ms. Matzzie graduated magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1994. She was Senior Articles Editor of The Georgetown Law Journal. After graduating, she clerked for the Honorable Dolores K. Sloviter, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She is the 1995 recipient of the Frederick B. Abramson Public Service Award. She is a member of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, DC and Federal Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ms. Matzzie is admitted to the bar in Washington, DC.
Areas of Practice
- Whistleblower/Qui Tam
- Government Agencies & Programs
- Government Contracts
- Health & Health Care Law
- Whistleblower -- Employee
- Tax Law
- Securities Law
- Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia - 1994
- Honors: Magna Cum Laude
- Honors: Legal Advocate, Haitian Refugee Program
- Honors: Legal Intern, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- Law Journal: The Georgetown Law Journal, Senior Articles Editor
- Adjunct Professor, "Public Interest Advocacy", Georgetown University Law Center, 1998 - 1999
Honors and Awards
- Washington’s Best Lawyers, 2013
- 500 Leading Lawyers in America, 2011 - 2013
- Recipient, Frederick B. Abramson Public Service Award, 1995
Past Employment Positions
- United States Department of Justice, Civil Appellate, Attorney
- United States Department of Justice, Tobacco Litigation Team, Trial Attorney
- Public Citizen Litigation Group, Staff Attorney, 1995 - 1999
- Hon. Dolores K. Sloviter, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Clerk, 1994 - 1995