Judge Michael Ponsor of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts slapped Biolitec with a $75 million ruling last year, after finding that it deliberately effected a so-called "downstream merger" to move its incorporation to Austria to escape jurisdiction in U.S. courts.
Ponsor’s harshly-worded ruling trebled the $23.2 million awarded to AngioDynamics by a New York court in 2012, adding $3.6 million in interest and another $1.9 million in legal costs, according to court documents. Earlier in the case the judge issued an arrest warrant for ex-Biolitec CEO Wolfgang Neuberger.
Ponsor also issued an arrest warrant for ex-Biolitec CEO Wolfgang Neuberger and imposed an injunction on sales of some of Biolitec’s vascular offerings. Ponsor also levied a hefty fine schedule against Biolitec to compel it to undo the merger, beginning with $1 million in May 2013, escalating to $2 million the next month, $4 million in July 2013, $8 million in August and $8 million a month thereafter.
Last week Latham, N.Y.-based AngioDynamics asked Ponsor to enforce the ruling, citing Neuberger’s "’habit,’ as this court recently said, ‘of moving assets around and trying to keep them out of the reach of’ AngioDynamics."
"It has been more than 2 years since AngioDynamics was last able to question Neuberger. The prejudice caused by his refusal to appear for questioning is compounded by the [Biolitec] trustees’ refusal to provide substantive responses to AngioDynamics’s written discovery requests and interrogatories," AngioDynamics said in a court filing.
AngioDynamics in October 2012 won a $16.5 million award in a separate lawsuit when a judge ruled that Biolitec, which provided laser vein ablation technology to AngioDynamics, failed to defend and indemnify the medical device company in lawsuits filed against it by Biomed and Covidien (NYSE:COV) subsidiary VNUS Medical Technologies.
The company last week announced its return to the embolization market it helped establish with a $2 million investment in EmboMedics.