Monday, December 28, 2009

Vascular Solutions Wins Appeal In Disparagement Litigation With Marine Polymer; To Accept $3.2 Mln In Damages

Monday, medical device company Vascular Solutions, Inc. (VASC:News ) said that the First Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals has affirmed the earlier judgment in its favor in its product disparagement litigation with Marine Polymer Technologies and $2.7 million in damages to be paid to Vascular.
In the two-week trial in April 2008, the jury has issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Marine Polymer from making disparaging statements concerning the safety of Vascular Solutions' D-Stat hemostat products. The jury had also awarded $4.5 million in damages to Vascular Solutions and found five statements made by Marine Polymer regarding Vascular Solutions' D-Stat products false.
The Appeals Court,however, has determined that due to differences in opinion among the judges Vascular may either accept a $2.7 million award of damages, plus interest, or insist upon a new trial limited to the issue of determining the reasonable amount of damages.
Adding interest at the statutory rate, Vascular said that it calculates the $2.7 million award to currently total approximately $3.2 million. Today's appellate decision is subject to Marine Polymer Technologies' ability to petition for rehearing by the First Circuit and appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The permanent injunction issued against Marine Polymer at the conclusion of the earlier trial will remain in effect.
Independently, the Appeals Court found that the evidence "provides ample proof of malice. And the most inflammatory of the five statements, and the most glaringly unsupported, are the two that associated D-Stat Dry with specific and serious outcomes in percentages that would be remarkable for a relatively straightforward medical task -- to stop bleeding at a modest-size doctor-created incision."
Howard Root, CEO, Vascular Solutions, said, "In order to conclude this litigation, we intend to accept the $2.7 million award of damages, plus interest, and to forgo the cost and distraction of an additional trial on damages. We expect the final steps in this litigation to be concluded during the first half of 2010, and the approximately $3.2 million in damages and interest to be collected by Vascular Solutions without substantial additional expense."
VASC is currently trading at $8.40, down $0.05 or 0.59, on the Nasdaq.

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