by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | May 23, 2023
Zoll Medical has agreed to pay $400,000 to resolve civil claims against it for allegedly violating the federal Trade Agreements Act by misrepresenting Chinese-made electrocardiogram components it sold to the U.S. government as American-made products.
Between January 2019 and November 2022, the Massachusetts-based company allegedly sold ECG cables for defibrillators and cardiac monitors to entities within the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Defense, knowing that the law requires goods sold to the military and other federal government purchasers be produced in America or certain designated foreign countries, which do not include China, according to the civil settlement, which was drawn up in the District of Rhode Island.
It also inaccurately told government officials in January 2019 that replacement ECG cables it offered to federal government purchasers were, in fact, made in the U.S., says the U.S. government.
Jing Zhang, a former Zoll employee, was the whistleblower in the case who made a False Claims complaint on behalf of the U.S. in May 2019.
“When corporations choose to supply the American military and American government agencies with goods, the law is clear: we expect those goods to be American made. When companies fail in their legal duty by substituting foreign products for the U.S.-origin goods that the law requires, we will hold them accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha for the District of Rhode Island in a statement.
Zoll provides the military hospital markets with a range of automated external and wearable defibrillators, including its AED Plus and AED Pro solutions.
In the last year, the District of Rhode Island has made three civil resolutions in cases, including this one, revolving around supplies of foreign-manufactured goods provided to government purchasers under the guise of American-made products.
It also prosecuted two criminal trials involving individuals who participated in a conspiracy to develop, manufacture, and import $20 million worth of Chinese-made counterfeit U.S. military uniforms and gear passed off as genuine American-made products and sold to the U.S. government.
Zhang will receive $80,000 as his portion from the total amount, as well as an additional $35,000 from Zoll for expenses, attorney fees, and cost.