UPDATE: Zimmer sues Stryker for Trojan Horse scheme to steal its customers
Law360, Los Angeles (August 06, 2014, 7:02 PM ET) — An Indiana federal judge on Wednesday kept alive most of the claims in medical technology company Zimmer Inc.’s lawsuit against Stryker Corp. and a former employee, finding that Zimmer’s theory that its competitor concocted a “Trojan horse” plan to steal its trade secrets was well-pled.
U.S. District Judge Jon E. DeGuilio shut down Stryker’s bid to dismiss four of the six claims in Zimmer’s suit against it and former Zimmer salesman Cody Stovall, agreeing to toss accusations that Stryker tortiously interfered with a contract and participated…
Zimmer Files Suit Against Rival (StaceyPageOnline)
Orthopedic rivals Zimmer Holdings and Stryker Corp. (download 4-page analysis of Stryker HERE) are once again engaged in a legal battle. Zimmer filed a lawsuit in South Bend’s Northern District of U.S. District Court accusing its rival of using a “Trojan horse” scheme to lure away sales reps and accounts in its Texas market. The suit also names Zimmer sales rep Cory Stovall and accuses both Stovall and Stryker of scheming to create a plan designed to lure Zimmer reps to work for Stryker.
The suit alleges that Stryker agreed to pay Stovall a bounty for every Zimmer customer he converted. Zimmer alleges in the court documents, “Specifically … in addition to a purportedly guaranteed $27,000 per month salary, Stryker has promised to pay Stovall $30,000 for every $500,000 worth of Zimmer business he is able to convert from his former Zimmer customers to Stryker.”
Stovall began selling Zimmer products in February 2008 and worked in Amarillo, Texas, under long-time Zimmer sales rep Carla Brittain. Stovall quit on Jan. 10 and went to work for Stryker.
Zimmer also alleges in the suit that Stryker offered Brittain a position and annual salary of $300,000 to take part in the scheme. Court documents state, ” … prior to his resignation, Stovall solicited multiple Zimmer sales representatives from Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas, to join him and Stryker in their plot to take Zimmer’s customers and to destroy Zimmer’s goodwill and business in northwest Texas … Stovall and [Stryker] represented to Zimmer employees that Stryker has employed this same scheme to unfairly compete with Zimmer in other parts of the country.”
Zimmer is asking a judge to impose injunctions on Stovall and Stryker that bars contact with Zimmer customers and employees in and around Amarillo and preventing Stovall from working for Stryker in that area.