A jury has awarded Epic Systems $940 million in damages in its trade secret lawsuit against Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tata America International Corporation (Tata), according to Reuters.
The verdict awards $240 million for benefits received by the defendants and a whopping $700 million in punitive damages.
Epic had claimed that a TCS employee working at a Kaiser Foundation Hospitals facility in Portland, Oregon, used fraudulent credentials to pose as an employee of Kaiser to create an unauthorized account on Epic's proprietary system, enabling TCS employees in the U.S. and India to download and take more than 6,000 documents to benefit Tata's competing software, called Med Mantra.
The data represented "decades of work," according to the complaint, and included trade secret and other confidential information, such as programming rules and processes; documents that decode operation of source codes; and information regarding Epic system's capabilities and functionalities. Most of the documents would not be necessary for a consultant to help Kaiser with its computers.
Tata said in a statement that the verdict was "unexpected" since it was unsupported by evidence, but also that the result will not have an impact on its financial results for the quarter.
"The company did not misuse or derive any benefit from downloaded documents from Epic System's user-web portal. TCS plans to defend its position vigorously in appeals to higher courts. TCS appreciates the trial judge's announcement from the bench that he is almost certain he will reduce the damages award," Tata said in the statement.
Trade secret and unfair competition lawsuits in the digital medical world are not uncommon. Last year Jardogs sued Fitbit for stealing its intellectual property. In addition, Medfusion sued Allscripts for unfair methods of competition and deceptive trade practices; they settled their lawsuit earlier this year.