Law360 is reporting that St. Jude Medical, Inc. has won a whopping $2.3 billion trade secret secret verdict from a California state jury in a case they brought against a former employee and his new company.
The jury concluded the former employee, Yongning Zou, stole confidential technical information from the Sylmar, Calif.-based manufacturer of pacemakers, defibrillators, and neuromodulators and took it to start Nervicon Co. Ltd. in China.
The jury awarded St. Jude Medical $947 million against Zou and Nervicon for past harm, $868 million against Nervicon for future economic losses, and $500 million against Nervicon in punitive damages. The award represented substantially more than the $1.2 billion the company had sought based on the testimony of an expert witness.
“We found the expert witness a little too conservative,” the foreperson told St. Jude attorneys after the verdict, to the nods of fellow jurors.
These default trial verdicts will become more common as foreign-based thieves conclude that their foreign assets will be difficult, if not impossible, to levy against. Problem for them, of course, is what happens when they try to tap the American marketplace with their goods or services.