Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy can’t stop ex-rep from working for Arthrex distributor

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Synthes can’t stop a former sales rep from working for an Arthrex distributor in Idaho, a federal judge ruled last week.

DePuy hired Richard “Jake” Williams in June 2015 to rep its orthopedic implants in Boise and had him sign employee secrecy, intellectual property, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements barring him from working for the competition for 18 months after leaving DePuy, according to court documents.

But after his Sept. 11 departure, Williams signed on with Arthrex distributor Steelhead Surgical, prompting DePuy to sue in the U.S. District Court for Idaho for breach of contract and ask Judge Ronald Bush for a preliminary injunction barring Williams from taking the new job.

Williams and DePuy dispute the circumstances of his departure, according to the documents, with Williams claiming he was shown the door after his supervisor and regional manager led him to believe that his job was in jeopardy. But the supervisor and regional manager claimed that his job was not in jeopardy and that nobody said it was.

Although Bush found that DePuy could probably show that Williams violated the employee secrecy agreement, he ruled that the differing accounts of his departure muddy the waters.

By Brad Perriello | MassDevice

Image Credit: Brad Perriello/MassDevice


About Peter Coffaro 820 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the orthopedic industry. Recognized by as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager and Distributor. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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