$112M judgement upheld in Medtronic, spine surgeon royalty battle

Alan Condon -   Print  |

An appellate court on Dec. 4 upheld an award of more than $112 million for an Indiana spine surgeon who won a royalty dispute against Medtronic, The Indiana Lawyer reports.

Carmel-based Indiana Spine Group founder Rick Sasso, MD, was awarded the money two years ago after a five-year legal battle with the device company. 

The November 2018 ruling found that Medtronic failed to pay Dr. Sasso royalties he was contractually owed for spinal and screw implants he invented and sold to the company more than a decade previously.

Medtronic paid Dr. Sasso more than $20 million in royalties, but he said the company breached its obligations and stopped paying him along the way.

The devices — a screw delivery system and the Vertex Reconstruction System — became one of Medtronic's largest product lines, hitting annual sales of over $200 million, according to the report.

Medtronic moved to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds, claiming that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The five-person jury rejected the motion.

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