Snubbed Research Co. Wins In Claims Court

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Department of Health and Human Services was wrong to exclude a research company from participating in the National Children’s Study, the Court of Federal Claims ruled.

     Plenty of work was available on the project, as HHS was awarded 22 contracts in 2007 and will award up to 58 more this year.
     The CNA Corp. wanted to be a part of the study, which focuses on environmental effects on children’s health.
     Judge Horn ruled that the HHS was arbitrary and unreasonable when it disqualified CNAC because Dr. Sarah Friedman was scheduled to be the company’s primary researcher.
     Friedman had been employed by the HHS for more than 15 years, but the court ruled that a proper ethics review was necessary before CNAC could be disqualified.
     The court’s ruling indicates that Friedman’s past history with the department would not be grounds for CNAC’s disqualification. It would only make a difference “if the scope of the study were smaller, or if Friedman’s involvement were larger.”

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