Globus Medical has accused Medtronic of recruiting its San Antonio sales team to steal customers from the company and strengthen its position in the spine market.
Defendants in the lawsuit, filed Jan. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, include former Globus Medical sales executives Andrew Miller, Brooke Stephens and Hunter Bailey — all of whom are now employed by Medtronic and reside in San Antonio. Edward Sharp, a former spine territory manager of Globus Medical, and Medtronic are also named as defendants.
Globus Medical alleged that Medtronic "induced [Mr. Sharp] with huge financial incentives to solicit his San Antonio sales team and convert his Globus customers" and claims that four former employees are "carrying out a long-planned conspiracy to illegally steal Globus' business for themselves," according to court documents.
In addition, Globus alleged that the scheme was devised while Mr. Sharp, Mr. Bailey and Ms. Stephens were still working for the company, using its financial resources, confidential information, employment and business relationships to steal Globus' customers and employees for Medtronic.
Globus said it requires sales employees to sign a noncompete and nondisclosure agreement when hired. After the company terminated the employment of Mr. Sharp, it said he joined Medtronic and recruited another sales manager to quit and bring other employees and customers to Medtronic.
Since the four sales reps left Globus, the company said five customers — surgeons whose business totaled more than $2.5 million in 2021 — stopped using Globus' products and ceased communications with the company, according to the complaint. In the lawsuit, Globus said it expects more surgeons to follow suit because of the alleged scheme.
"[Medtronic] believes its conduct has been proper and will defend itself vigorously against these claims," a company spokesperson said in a statement to Becker's Spine Review. "Medtronic remains committed to fair competition and employment practices that comply with the law and enable the company to attract and retain a best-in-class, highly talented and innovative workforce."
Globus' allegations against its former sales reps and Medtronic include breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty, tortious interference, unfair competition and civil conspiracy. The company is seeking compensation to be determined at a jury trial.