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Ex-sales rep’s counter-claims stand in poaching spat with Stryker

Counter-claims brought by Richard Steitzer, a former sales rep for Stryker (NYSE:SYK), can stand in a poaching spat between Stryker, Steitzer and Biomet, a Michigan federal judge ruled last week.

Stryker sued orthopedics rival Biomet last year, accusing it of a scheme to poach reps and business from Stryker in Louisiana and New York. Steitzer and Christopher Ridgeway allegedly conspired with Biomet in the scheme, according to the September 2013 lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Western Michigan. Steitzer quit in June 2013 to work for Biomet; Stryker fired Ridgeway Sept. 10 of that year, according to the lawsuit, after discovering that he was allegedly running a pair of medical supply businesses on the side.

Last week Judge Robert Bell shot down a settlement alleged by Biomet and Steitzer, finding that Steitzer and Biomet failed to prove that an agreement was reached, according to the documents. Two days later, Bell left intact Steitzer’s claims that Biomet owes him severance pay and, because it hasn’t paid, breached his employment contract with Stryker. Steitzer’s claim that the breached contract also means he’s not bound by the confidentiality and non-compete clauses of the contract was also left standing, Bell ruled in the July 24 opinion.

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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Sales Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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