Zimmer suing Greatbatch over production move, claims potentially millions in lost sales
Zimmer (ZMH) claims that Greatbatch’s plan to move production out of Switzerland could cost ZMH millions in lost sales. The suit is filed in the South Bend division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
Greatbatch makes specialized surgical instruments for ZMH to implant orthopaedic devices, including hips and knees. ZMH’s standard contract with suppliers includes provisions that keep a supplier from moving production without approval. ZMH claims that Greatbatch’s plans to move production by the end of 2013 from its plant in Switzerland to existing factories in Fort Wayne and Tijuana, Mexico is too short to allow ZMH to get required approval from various geographies to sell products there, including items made by suppliers. In addition, Greatbatch has fallen behind on filling orders, ZMH claims.
Sherry Slater writes that “Greatbatch plans to sell its Swiss facility to an unnamed buyer. That would prevent the possibility of the company moving some work while continuing in Switzerland to build a stockpile of products for ZMH, the lawsuit argues. ZMH says it could lose millions if it’s unable to sell orthopaedic devices and instruments in the meantime.”