International medical device manufacturer Stryker Corp. has to pay a small business in Colorado $ 4.75 million after violating his business contracts with a local medical equipment distributor, a federal judge in Denver ruled last week.
Stryker Corp. through his subsidiary Howmedica Osteonics Corporation, improperly terminated one contract with Greenwood Village’s ORP Surgical and then mistakenly stole his employees after the termination of another contract, Senior Judge R. Brooke Jackson found in a 30-party order issued May 10 in the U.S. . Colorado County District Court.
Stryker, which has about 46,000 employees worldwide, was founded by grandfather Pat Stryker, a resident of Fort Collins who is one of the wealthiest women in Colorado with an estimated value of $ 3.4 billion. In contrast, ORP Surgical has about 30 employees.
In last week’s order, Jackson also sanctioned Stryker’s attorneys for significant violations ranging from detection violations to rude behavior during a two-year civil lawsuit.
“While it would be logical to give Stryker priority over doubt, he doesn’t deserve it,” Jackson wrote in the judgment. “His witnesses lacked credibility. Stryker’s witnesses were ambiguous, spinning imaginary stories and even misrepresenting. “
Stryker did not return a request for comment Monday. Chris Carrington, who represented ORP Surgical, said he was pleased that the company and its primary owner Lee Petrides had insisted on the case.
“There aren’t many companies that can survive litigation with $ 14 billion a year in Goliath,” he said. “Lee just wouldn’t be intimidated.”
Greenwood Village entered into a contract with Stryker for the sale of Stryker medical equipment under two separate contracts, one for common equipment and the other for damage equipment, as per the contract.
In March 2019, Stryker terminated the shared equipment contract “for a reason,” which, according to Stryker, meant he didn’t have to pay certain penalties to terminate the contract. ORP Surgical argued that the contract had been terminated for no reason and that Stryker had to pay fines.
Due to escalating tensions between the two companies, ORP Surgical voluntarily terminated another trauma equipment contract in April 2020. Under the terms of this contract, Stryker was prohibited from hiring ORP Surgical employees for at least one year.
However, Stryker hired 12 ORP Surgical sales representatives within 48 hours of terminating the contract in accordance with the order. ORP Surgical sued in May 2020, and Stryker filed counterclaims. An extensive and “antagonistic” lawsuit followed, Jackson wrote.
The judge eventually found after the trial that Stryker had breached both contracts and ordered the company to pay $ 4.75 million in damages. He also reminded attorneys at Chicago-based Seyfarth Shaw Lawyers of their misconduct and ordered both the law firm and Stryker to pay fees as a sanction.
“Stryker’s lawyer spoiled this case with the ugly tactics of litigation,” Jackson wrote. “As I said during the trial, I was appalled that Stryker’s lawyers were playing fast and loosely with detection obligations.”
He also found that the lawyers were insulting, “rude, unprofessional and inappropriate” during the statement.
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