IRVINE, Calif. & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Thomas Whitelaw, a premier national litigation boutique, today announced that after a one-week jury trial, a California federal jury in Los Angeles found that Kyphon Sàrl LLC, (Kyphon), an affiliate of Medtronic, must pay Pabban Development $15.4 million for breaching the terms of its contract under which it acquired Pabban’s patented spinal cement-delivery technology, the Natrix System. In addition, Thomas Whitelaw successfully defensed all of Kyphon’s counterclaims against Pabban for $17 million.
Pabban and its affiliates, based in Irvine, CA, are well-established companies that specialize in the design, development, and manufacture of innovative medical devices that are sold to some of the largest medical device companies in the U.S. Pabban sued Kyphon for breaching its August 2008 contract to purchase Pabban's Natrix System, by failing to pay more than $15 million in milestone payments to Pabban after the acquisition. The Natrix System is a state-of-the-art hand-held cement-delivery system used by spinal surgeons to more safely deliver medical cement into a patient's spine during vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, procedures used to heal or reduce the symptoms of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs).
Thomas Whitelaw Managing Partner Joseph E. Thomas, who served as lead trial attorney for Pabban, explained, “Winning this high-stakes case for our client is gratifying for many reasons. To begin, our client is an innovator that had spent many years researching, developing and filing a patent on its medical device for the treatment of spinal injuries. This highly novel delivery system made the treatments for VCFs much safer for doctors and patients, and has enormous value in the marketplace.
“Pabban agreed to sell this valuable technology to a larger company to ensure that it would be used to its full market potential, enhancing doctor and patient safety not only throughout the U.S., but worldwide. Nevertheless, holding Kyphon, a Swiss LLC, to its contractual obligations was challenging. Kyphon had nothing to lose by not paying the milestones and filing its countersuit. It was our mandate to prove to the jury that it was Kyphon-– not Pabban-- that breached the contract. The jury’s verdict, reached in one-half day of deliberations, established that they were convinced by all of the evidence,” Thomas concluded.
The case is Pabban Development Inc. v. Kyphon Sàrl et al., number SACV 10-533, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Kyphon and Medtronic were represented by Reed Smith LLP, ranked as the 19th largest law firm in the country in 2013 according to American Lawyer.
About Thomas Whitelaw
Thomas Whitelaw LLP is one of the nation’s premier boutique litigation firms specializing in complex, high-stakes intellectual property, business and real estate litigation. With a bench of nationally recognized attorneys, the firm provides exceptional legal and trial expertise to Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies around the country and in Canada. Thomas Whitelaw is headquartered in Irvine, California. Visit www.twtlaw.com to learn more.