The $2.3 billion awarded to St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ) by a jury over a trade secret theft trial was pared back by the judge overseeing the case, leaving St. Jude with just under $1 billion and a wide-ranging injunction against former employee Yongning Zou.
Zou was accused of using his access to highly confidential information to swipe details on STJ-branded pacemakers, defibrillators and neuromodulators and found Nervicon Co. Ltd. in China.
Zou allegedly owns a 47.5 percent stake in Nervicon and runs the company, founded 15 days before Zou resigned from STJ.
Zou and Nervicon failed to mount much of a defense and never appeared during the trial phase of the case, according to Law360.
Late in April the jury awarded $947 million against Zou and Nervicon for past harm, $868 million against Nervicon for future economic losses and $500 million against Nervicon in punitive damages.
Since Nervicon never showed up, the jury’s verdict was advisory rather than final, California state judge Ruth Kwan said in April.
Kwan declined the jury’s $1.3 billion against Nervicon, but adopted a broad injunction restraining Nervicon and its officers, directors and employees from creating any pacemaker or neuromodulator based on St. Jude secrets, according to the website.
But the St. Paul, Minn.-based company may never see a dime from the case and its furtive defendants.
“Good luck collecting,” the jury foreperson told St. Jude’s legal team on the way out the door, Law360 reported.