U.K. Court Upholds Damages Ruling Against 3M in MRSA Case

A U.K. judge upheld a decision that 3M Co., the maker of Post-It Notes, should pay $1.3 million to investors after it decided not to market BacLite, a product that detects hospital super-bug MRSA, the company said.

Porton Capital Ltd. and Ploughshare Innovations Ltd., a civilian unit of the U.K. Ministry of Defence, sued 3M over a 2007 deal that depended on sales of the product, claiming about $40 million in damages.

While a London judge ruled in November 3M had breached its obligations, he rejected the estimate of damages as optimistic. The High Court today confirmed that decision, 3M said.

“The court’s final order underscores a decisive victory for our company and the positions it took relative to this technology,” said Maureen Harms, 3M’s assistant general counsel.

Because the ruling of $1.3 million was less than what 3M had offered to settle the case, Porton and Ploughshare will have to pay some of the legal fees from the dispute, 3M said.

“We are delighted that the U.K. High Court judge today awarded Porton Group a proportion of its costs in respect of its contractual dispute with 3M,” Porton Group said in an e-mailed statement.

“For 3M to suggest they prevailed in this case when they breached their contract with Porton and Ploughshare, part of the U.K. MoD, and have to pay damages and costs is delusional in the extreme,” Porton Chief Executive Officer Harvey Boulter said in the statement.

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