BD must still pay $350M+ due to safety syringe spat; other punishments delayed pending appeal

Becton Dickinson safety syringes--Courtesy of Becton Dickinson

A federal court has upheld the $350 million-plus in damages that Becton Dickinson ($BDX) owes Retractable Technologies due to a legal spat over drug delivering prefilled syringes. But BD can take solace in the part of Davis' ruling that stayed a previous order requiring the company to inform end users about its false advertising regarding the syringes.

Judge Leonard Davis in the Eastern District of Texas ruled that the company will not be required to tell end users about the false advertising pending a decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"The court recognizes that a partial stay places a hardship on RTI. It prevents end users from having a full and accurate view of retractable syringes. Nevertheless, this is the current status quo. Attempting to change the status quo at this point places an even greater hardship on BD: Forcing BD to send out mandatory disclosures to end users cannot be readily undone in the event BD receives appellate relief," Davis wrote, according to Mass Device. "On the other hand, RTI's hardship is partially addressed by ordering BD to comply with the other portions of the injunction, and will be further addressed at the appropriate time if BD does not obtain appellate relief. Accordingly, maintaining the present circumstances with regards to the end users is the more equitable result."

Still, Davis found that BD attempted to monopolize the market and did indeed engage in false advertising. Though BD won't have to tell end users about that mistake, it must still inform and fix the claims made to employees, customers and group purchasing organizations by Feb. 14.

The courtroom drama dates back to 2007, when Little Elm, TX-based Retractable sued Becton for trying to monopolize the market for safety syringes through false advertising. In the prior round of court battles, which occurred in 2014, Davis rejected Retractable's request for an additional $260 million in damages, saying that they were already included in the original $340 million award. The judge also ruled that Retractable's request for $36.5 million in legal fees was too high and told Retractable to recalculate the amount.

- read the Mass Device article