United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Ashland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. Wilhoit Jr., United States District Judge
matter is before the Court upon Plaintiffs Motion to Strike
Defendants' Affirmative Defenses [Docket No. 16]. The
matter as been fully briefed by the parties. For the reasons
stated herein, the Court will sustain the motion.
United States of America filed this civil action against Rose
Uradu, M.D. and Ultimate Treatment Center, the substance
abuse center which she owns and operates in Ashland,
Kentucky. The basis for its lawsuit is set forth in the
opening paragraphs of the Complaint:
The United States seeks civil penalties under the Controlled
Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq., and
its implementing regulations, 21 C.F.R. § 1300 et
seq., on two bases: First, Dr. Uradu issued
buprenorphine prescriptions to twice as many patients as is
permitted by law. See 21 U.S.C. § 842(a)(1).
Second, Ultimate Treatment Center failed to maintain complete
and accurate records of the clinic's methadone and
buprenorphine inventories, as reflected by shortages of both
controlled substances. See 21 U.S.C. §
827(a)(3). This failure to comply with the Controlled
Substances Act's record-keeping requirements created the
potential for the unlawful diversion of these drugs.
The United States also seeks to recover treble damages and
civil penalties under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §
3729 et seq., on two bases: First, during the period
January 2013 to September 2014, Ultimate Treatment Center, at
the direction of Dr. Uradu, systematically defrauded the
Medicare and Kentucky Medicaid programs by submitting false
claims for evaluation and management services that were not
actually provided to patients. Second, during the period July
2013 to December 2014, Ultimate Treatment Center, at the
direction of Dr. Uradu, defrauded the Medicare and Kentucky
Medicaid programs by submitting false claims for quantitative
urine drug tests that were not actually performed. The false
or fraudulent claims Ultimate Treatment Center submitted, and
that Dr. Uradu caused it to submit, have resulted in losses
to the Medicare and Kentucky Medicaid programs in excess of
[Docket No. 1, ¶¶ 2, 3].
their Answer, Defendants asserted the affirmative defenses of
statue of limitations, equitable estoppel and corporate
credit for services rendered. [Answer, Docket No. 13,
seeks entry of an Order striking these defenses as legally
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(b)(1)(A) requires a party
responding to a pleading to "state in short and plain
terms its defenses to each claim asserted against it."
Rule 8(c)(1) states that a defendant "must affirmatively
state any avoidance or affirmative defense," and
provides a list of nineteen affirmative defenses.
defenses plead matters extraneous to the plaintiffs prima
facie case, which deny plaintiffs right to recover, even if
the allegations of the complaint are true. Martin v.
Weaver, 666 F.2d 1013, 1019 (6th Cir. 1981).
The burden of proving an affirmative defense rests with the
party asserting it. Id.
12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a
party, or the court acting sua sponte, to
"strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous
matter." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f). The Sixth Circuit has held
that "the action of striking a pleading should be
sparingly used by the courts" and should be
"resorted to only when required for the purposes of
justice" and when "the pleading to be stricken has
no possible relation to the controversy." Brown
& Williamson Tobacco Corp. v. United States, 201
F.2d 819, 822 (6th Cir. 1953).
affirmative defense is insufficient when, as a matter of law,
the defense cannot succeed under any circumstances. Id.
See also Ameriwood Indus. Int'l Corp. v. Arthur ...