Government Enforcement Group Secures Settlement on Behalf of Stryker Biotech

In The News
January 20, 2012

A Ropes & Gray government enforcement team secured the dismissal of all felony charges against medical-device manufacturer Stryker Biotech in exchange for a misdemeanor guilty plea to one count of misbranding a medical device and a fine.

The Hopkinton, Mass.-based Stryker was on trial on charges it had defrauded physicians and hospitals into using an unapproved mixture of products for strengthening human bone growth. Prosecutors agreed to settle the case against Stryker Biotech when the government was only partway through the direct examination of its first witness.

Stryker Biotech and three of its high-level sales managers were on trial in federal court in Boston facing a 13-count indictment that included claims of conspiracy and wire fraud. The government agreed to drop all felony charges against Stryker Biotech and its sales personnel and allow the company to plead guilty to the one misdemeanor count (which did not include any allegations or admissions of fraud) and pay a $15 million fine, which was a fraction of what the government was seeking.  All charges against the three employees were dismissed with prejudice.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome we were able to secure on behalf of Stryker Biotech,” said Boston-based government enforcement partner Brien O’Connor. “It was clear the government was over-reaching in prosecuting this case, and we are eager to see this matter put to rest.”

The Boston-based Ropes & Gray government enforcement team that handled the Stryker case was led by partner Brien O’Connor and included associate Patrick Welsh, with special assistance provided by Holly Caldwell.