Abbott (NYSE:ABT) accused Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) of poaching a former sales vice president and allegedly running a campaign to lure Abbott stent reps to its arch-rival, claiming that the former VP vowed to "kick Abbott’s ass" and "crush Abbott."
Samuel Conaway was Abbott’s VP of coronary and endovascular U.S. sales until January, when he jumped ship for Boston Scientific, according to a lawsuit filed March 13 in the U.S. District Court for Northern Georgia. As part of his separation agreement with Abbott, Conaway signed a non-compete agreement that he and BSX then broke, according to the lawsuit.
"Within days of Conaway’s departure, at least a half dozen Abbott sales representatives about whom Conaway had acquired knowledge while at Abbott were solicited to join Boston Scientific by either Boston Scientific or Conaway," according to court documents. "In addition to the foregoing unsuccessful solicitation attempts, Boston Scientific and Conaway, acting in concert and in violation of Conaway’s nonsolicitation obligations, have successfully recruited away three Abbott territory managers, James Watkins, Jamal Lewis and Chad Olberding."
“The malice and ill-will behind Boston Scientific’s and Conaway’s wrongful campaign was recently revealed to Abbott when a former Boston Scientific sales representative told an Abbott sales representative that Conaway (and thus Boston Scientific) is specifically targeting Abbott sales representatives with the goal of ‘crush[ing] Abbott.’ That sales representative further revealed that shortly after arriving at Boston Scientific in January 2013, Conaway gave a speech on stage at a national sales conference hosted by Boston Scientific exclaiming that his (and thus Boston Scientific’s) ultimate goal was to ‘kick Abbott’s ass,’" according to the documents.
Abbott seeks a jury trial, an injunction barring Conaway and BSX from further violating the separation agreement, damages and legal costs, according to the lawsuit.