Federal judge rejects former sales rep's suit against Zimmer Biomet over firing after testimony against surgeon: 5 key notes

Written by Laura Dyrda | September 27, 2017 | Print  |

Zimmer Biomet is off the hook for now after a federal jury rejected a former sales rep's claim he was wrongfully terminated for raising concerns about an orthopedic surgeon customer's practices, according to a report in The Morning Call.


Here are five things to know:


1. A former Zimmer Biomet sales rep logged multiple reports over eight years through a company compliance hotline alleging a surgeon customer performed "hundreds of unnecessary knee replacements" and billed for using the device; the surgeon had financial stake in the company.


2. In 2015, the sales rep testified about his concerns with the surgeon in front of a grand jury, but the investigation into the surgeon was dropped shortly after the sale's rep's testimony. The sales rep was suspended from doing business at the surgeon's hospital and Zimmer Biomet fired him shortly thereafter.


3. Zimmer Biomet maintains the sales rep reported the surgeon due to a "personal vendetta" and his testimony violated multiple company confidentiality and business conduct policies. The company filed counterclaims against the sales rep alleging breach of contract and fiduciary duty, according to the report.


4. The jury sided with Zimmer Biomet and awarded the company $125,000 in damages reportedly paid in anticipation of a threatened defamation lawsuit.


5. The sales rep is considering an appeal.


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