LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Medical device manufacturer OrthoTec, LLC has taken a major step forward in its legal battle against public medical device company ALPHATEC (Nasdaq:ATEC). Following a month-long trial, private company OrthoTec (Los Angeles) obtained a fraud verdict against Surgiview, S.A.S., a subsidiary of public spine company ALPHATEC (ATEC). ALPHATEC (ATEC) is one of the HealthpointCapital portfolio companies, a private equity firm focused on the musculoskeletal sector of the medical device industry. HealthpointCapital is headed by two veterans of private equity investment, Mr. John Foster and Mr. Tim Berkowitz.
On February 11, 2014, following a month-long trial in Los Angeles, OrthoTec obtained a fraud verdict against Surgiview. OrthoTec's theory of the case was that Foster, Berkowitz, and HealthpointCapital had orchestrated a fraudulent transfer of assets to Surgiview to prevent OrthoTec from collecting a debt. Determining unanimously that the transfer of assets was a fraudulent conveyance, the jury awarded OrthoTec damages of $48 million, plus pre-judgment interest. OrthoTec estimates that, with interest and attorneys' fees, the award will total about $73 million. OrthoTec CEO Patrick Bertranou commented that "Surgiview and Alphatec (ATEC) refused all offers from OrthoTec to reasonably settle this dispute choosing instead to spend millions in litigation. I personally find this choice regrettable, but I am not in charge of Alphatec's decision-making process; their board is." Bertranou added that he is "a great believer in the jury system. The jurors really took our case to heart, and for that we are grateful. I was also very blessed to have a great lawyer in the person of Mr. Ross who has the ability to convey the essence of a case to a jury in a clear and understandable manner." Bertranou asserted that OrthoTec will now look to New York, where the same issues are slated to be tried later this year against Foster, Berkowitz, and Healthpoint. OrthoTec was represented at trial by Pete Ross and Ben Scheibe of the prominent business litigation boutique Browne George Ross LLP, which has offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The defendant losing party was represented by a team of lawyers from Munger, Tolles & Olson, led by Mr. Brad Brian.