3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) may have lost $1.3 million judgment in a long-running lawsuit over its BacLite diagnostic test, but the conglomerate is declaring victory anyway.
A U.K. judge ordered the Minneapolis-area company to pay the damages after finding that the company pulled the test, used to detect methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, for commercial reasons rather than for 3M’s claim that it pulled the test over fears that it wouldn’t pass regulatory muster.
It’s no surprise that the company is pleased with the result, given that it could have had a $40 million price tag. The suit dates back to 2008, when British investment fund Porton Group accused 3M of breaching its contract to bring the test to market following its acquisition in 2007 from Acolyte Biomedica Ltd.
3M was quick to crow over the decision, calling it a "decisive victory."
"The High Court of the United Kingdom issued a judgment today in favor of 3M on virtually every important issue of the dispute," according to a press release. "The court rejected claimants’ outlandish demands and awarded them only $1.3 million."
The British suit may be in the record books, but the legal wrangling is far from over. 3M filed a suit in the U.S. alleging that Porton, its CEO Harvey Boulter and a high-profile lobbyist, Lanny Davis, blackmailed the firm.
"That legal action alleges, among other things, that defendants participated in an illegal campaign to extort more than $34 million from 3M to settle the BacLite case prior to a final judgment or else Boulter and Davis would use their influence with recently resigned U.K. Minister of Defense Dr. Liam Fox to interfere with 3M’s business in the U.K.," according to the release.
Boulter and Davis have denied any wrongdoing. Fox resigned abruptly last month, according to the New York Times, "after it was disclosed that a closes friend had accompanied Mr. Fox on official trips and represented himself as someone who could broker access to the British government."