A Medical Device Daily

For the second time this week a business unit of Tyco (Pembroke, Bermuda) has been hit with a large payout for infringement.

Attorneys for Applied Medical Resources (Rancho Santa Margarita, California) yesterday reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington has upheld a $64.5 million judgment that Tyco unit U.S. Surgical (Norwalk, Connecticut) willfully infringed a patent owned by Applied Medical.

This follows the decision by Tyco's pulse oximetry business, Nellcor (Pleasanton, California), to pay Masimo (Irvine, California) $265 million, plus continuing royalties, to settle infringement claims related to Masimo's pulse oximetry patents (Medical Device Daily, Jan. 25, 2006).

Confirmation of the appeals ruling vs. U.S. Surgical relates to a trocar used by surgeons to perform laparoscopic surgery.

In addition to affirming an Orange County, California, jury's $43.5 million damages award, the appellate court held that the record supported the jury's finding of willful infringement by U.S. Surgical, allowing the trial court to award increased damages and attorney fees to reach the $64.5 million total.

Applied Medical filed the suit vs. U.S. Surgical in 2003 as one of three filings against the company over the last 10 years (MDD, Aug. 15, 2004).

Handling the case for Applied Medical are attorneys with Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear.

In other legalities, the Birmingham News has reported that Richard Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth (Birmingham, Alabama), paid the pastor of Believers Temple Church in Birmingham to generate sympathy for him during his trial for fraud.

Pastor Herman Henderson told the newspaper that he arranged for Scrushy to speak in black churches and hauled supporters to the courthouse. He also says an associate wrote friendly articles about Scrushy's trial that appeared in The Birmingham Times, part of the BlackPressUSA Network.

Scrushy has responded that while money did “change hands,“ these donations were legitimate and that he never agreed to pay Henderson for help with his legal problems. He contends Henderson is shaking him down.

The report says that Scrushy's charitable foundation paid Henderson's church $25,000 from March to September 2005, and that Scrushy paid $20,000 to the Lewis Group for marketing and public relations. The Lewis Group paid $5,000 apiece to Henderson and Audrey Lewis, who says that the articles she wrote for the Times were “approved“ by Scrushy before they were published.

Scrushy says he only reviewed the articles for their accuracy. He also claims he didn't know up-front that the Lewis Group had paid Henderson and that he put a stop to it once he learned of the arrangement.

Government prosecutors reportedly have said that the accusations will not bring any new charges against Scrushy.

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