McAndrews Wins $254M Damages Award in Stryker Corporation v. Zimmer, Inc.


McAndrews shareholders, Sharon Hwang, Deborah Laughton, and Stephanie Samz, won an affirmance from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit of a $254 million judgment for Stryker Corporation in one of the largest enhanced damage awards in patent history.

The long-running patent infringement dispute between Stryker Corporation and Zimmer, Inc. began in 2010, when Stryker filed suit alleging Zimmer infringed several patents pertaining to pulsed lavage technology. In 2013, a jury in the Western District of Michigan found that Zimmer had willfully infringed Stryker’s patents, and the district court awarded enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees. In 2014, the Federal Circuit affirmed on all liability and damages issues, but reversed the jury’s finding of willfulness and vacated the enhanced damages and attorney fee award.  The United States Supreme Court granted Stryker’s petition for certiorari and consolidated the case with Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics, holding that the Federal Circuit’s test for enhanced damages under the Patent Act was inconsistent with the governing statute.

The Supreme Court found that the statute gives district courts discretion to award enhanced damages in egregious cases involving culpable behavior.  On remand from the Supreme Court, the district court once again ruled that Stryker was entitled to treble damages and attorney fees, entering a judgment in favor of Stryker for $254 million. Zimmer once again appealed to the Federal Circuit but on December 10, 2018, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment.

Sharon Hwang argued on behalf of Stryker Corporation.  Former U.S. Solicitor General Seth Waxman of Wilmer Cutler Pickering & Hale argued on behalf of Zimmer.