Bio-Rad Laboratories (NYSE:BIO) agreed to pay $3.5 million in legal fees for the team that represented former general counsel, Sanford Wadler, during a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit Wadler brought against his former employer.
The company said it plans to cover “reasonable” attorney fees and expert witness fees and costs, according to an order signed by U.S. District Judge Joseph Spero yesterday.
Earlier this month, a federal jury in California awarded Wadler $11 million in the lawsuit he brought against Bio-Rad. After 3 hours of deliberation, the jury awarded Wadler $2.9 million back pay and stocks and $5 million in punitive damages. According to reports, the back pay award is slated to be doubled, bringing the total award to $10.8 million.
Wadler, who was fired in 2013, alleged that he was let go right before the company was planning to present findings from a bribery investigation in Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. Wadler accused the company of stonewalling his efforts to uncover evidence of similar bribery in China.
Bio-Rad later agreed to pay $55 million in a settlement with the U.S. Justice Dept. and the SEC, which found that the company paid $7.5 million in bribes and brought in $35 million in profits.
The jury in Wadler’s case found that a report from February 2013 that contained Wadler’s suspicion of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in China was protected whistleblower activity and contributed to his firing later that year.
Also today, the life sciences company missed expectations on Wall Street with its 4th quarter results.
Bio-Rad posted a net loss of -$20.6 million on sales of $571.5 million for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, for bottom-line loss of -141.6% on sales growth of 0.2% compared with the same period last year.
Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, earnings per share were -70¢, behind consensus on The Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $572.9 million.
The company said it expects to see revenue growth of 4% for the full year.
BIO shares were trading at $188.80 apiece today in mid-morning trading, down -1.7%.