Legal news: NuVasive can review Lanx contacts with employees


NuVasive Inc. (NSDQ:NUVA) can review documents covering Lanx Inc.‘s contacts with current and former NUVA employees it alleges were poached by Lanx.

NuVasive, which makes spinal implants, is suing Lanx, several ex-employees who now work there and a former surgical consultant in several courts around the country. In 1 lawsuit, NuVasive accused Lanx of launching "a raid on NuVasive employees across the country," according to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern Texas.

"This raid started in Western New York, where 5 NuVasive salespeople left NuVasive to work for Lanx, and a top consulting surgeon for NuVasive announced that he had become a consultant for Lanx. Two months later, 3 top California directors and managers were recruited from NuVasive to work for Lanx. After learning of Lanx’s raid on its California employees, NuVasive sent Lanx a cease and desist letter. Lanx responded dismissively, and continued to raid NuVasive employees," according to the documents.

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In another case in the Delaware Chancery Court, NuVasive asked vice chancellor Sam Glasscock III to force Lanx to identify "NuVasive employees, past and current, with whom Lanx has communicated in the past year about possible employment with Lanx, together with documents exchanged with those employees in furtherance of that purpose," according to court documents.

Glasscock granted the NUVA motion, ruling that it has a legal right to "the details of Lanx’s contacts with its employees and entitled to test that information through a direct examination of the individuals involved."

"Since NuVasive has an interest in retaining its employees, and since the employees at issue are those who have elected to stay with NuVasive, the employees themselves are unlikely to suffer from this disclosure," Glasscock wrote. "To the extent Lanx is concerned that NuVasive employees’ ardor to join Lanx will be chilled, and that Lanx will be less successful in hiring NuVasive employees during this litigation’s pendency, I note that this matter is moving briskly, trial is scheduled for the spring, and any prejudice speculated by Lanx is outweighed by NuVasive’s interests in a complete record at trial."

In July, Glasscock shot down a Lanx bid to toss the suit. In March, NuVasive sued 2 former Texas sales executives who jumped ship for Lanx in February, accusing them of violating non-compete agreements. A week later NuVasive slapped 3 former sales reps and Lanx with another lawsuit in New York.

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