A three-judge panel on Friday let stand a $112,452,269 verdict in favor of Dr. Rick Sasso, who sued Medtronic in 2013, alleging that the world’s largest medical device maker shorted him on their royalties deal for the Vertex cervical spine system he helped develop.
The Vertex system went on to reap Medtronic sales of more than $200 million, according to a report by Indiana Lawyer.
In its appeal of the 2018 jury verdict, Medtronic claimed that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s award. Medtronic claimed that Sasso’s expert witness “wildly inflated” the $79.4 million in damages that Sasso sought for part of the system.
Medtronic had already paid Sasso some $23 million in royalties before Sasso filed suit, and claimed it did not owe him anything more, but the appeals court disagreed.
“Medtronic is disappointed by the court’s decision,” said company spokesperson David Young in an email to MassDevice. “Scientific collaboration between physicians and industry is vital to innovation and advancing patient care, and Medtronic is committed to paying fair value for intellectual property contributions. However, we believe the plaintiff in this case seeks payment far in excess of the value of his contributions. We are confident in our position and plan to petition the Indiana Supreme Court.”