A jury in Marshall County has awarded what is being called one of the largest verdicts in Indiana history to an Indianapolis spine surgeon and inventor. Dr. Rick Sasso would receive more than $112 million in royalties and interest which he claimed he was owed by Minnesota-based medical device company Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT).
Law firm Plews Shadley Racher and Braun, which represented Sasso in the case, says Sasso assigned several of his spinal medical device inventions to Medtronic in return for royalties on the sales of various products. Sasso claimed Medtronic stopped royalty payments in 2013, which led to the lawsuit.
After a four-week trial, the jury Wednesday reached its verdict after six hours of deliberation. Medtronic provided the following statement on the verdict to Inside INdiana Business:
Scientific and engineering collaboration between physicians and industry is vital to innovation and advancing patient care, and we are committed to paying fair value for intellectual property contributions. Medtronic values its relationships with physicians, but in our view the plaintiff in this case sought payment far in excess of the value of his contributions. We respect and appreciate the jury, but are disappointed in the verdict in this matter. We are in the process of evaluating our appellate options and plan to challenge this verdict in post-trial motions and appeal the verdict on various grounds.
Sasso is a native of Warsaw and currently serves as a professor of orthopedic surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine.