November 11, 2014 / 5:04 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. judge orders Becton Dickinson to correct false syringe claims

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal court has ordered medical device maker Becton Dickinson and Co (BDX.N) to notify customers that it falsely claimed its safety syringes were sharper and wasted less medicine than those of rival Retractable Technologies Inc.

The order, handed down Monday by Judge Leonard Davis in the Eastern District of Texas, follows an award of $340 million in damages to Retractable in September 2013 after a jury trial.

Besides notifying customers directly, Becton must post a notice on its website and provide comprehensive training for its employees and distributors to avoid any future false claims.

Retractable, which is located in Little Elm, Texas, sued Becton in June 2007, accusing the Franklin Lakes, New Jersey-based company of trying to monopolize the market for safety syringes through false advertising.

Davis on Monday also rejected Retractable’s bid to recover an additional $260 million in profits it said Becton Dickinson earned from false advertisements, saying they were already included in the $340 million award.

The judge also ruled that Retractable Technologies’ request for $36.5 million in legal fees was too high and ordered the company to recalculate the amount.

Retractable Chief Financial Officer Douglas Cowan declined to comment.

Becton Dickinson spokeswoman Erica Ellenberg did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Safety syringes are designed to protect patients from needlestick injuries and contamination. The syringes at issue in the lawsuit work by retracting the needle automatically after use.

The case is Retractable Technologies Inc et al v. Becton Dickinson and Co, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:08-CV-16.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson; Editing by Ted Botha and Lisa Von Ahn

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