LONDON, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- Boies Schiller & Flexner, attorneys for Porton Group and CEO Harvey Boulter, brief media in international telephone press conference
Attorneys for the investment group Porton and its CEO Harvey Boulter today described charges of "blackmail," filed against Porton and Mr. Boulter by multinational conglomerate 3M in a New York City court, as a "publicity stunt disguised as a lawsuit."
Attorney Lee Wolosky, representing the group and Mr. Boulter, predicted "the complete dismissal of these truly ridiculous claims." The accusations were attempts "to divert attention from an ongoing trial in London High Court, where 3M is accused of breach of contract" relating to BacLite, a MRSA detection device invented by the British Ministry of Defence and acquired by 3M in 2007.
The High Court trial, according to a statement by Mr. Boulter, centres around "3M's decision to abandon the clinical trials and marketing of BacLite." 3M's decision was made despite "unequivocal contractual obligations" after they "bungled the FDA trials and made serious errors, all of which were fixable," he said.
"3M has no valid defence to the claim that it abandoned its partners, including the British Government… the total value of the claims and legal costs, to the Claimants, are in excess of $45,000,000," said Mr. Boulter.
Mr. Boulter further noted that 3M's complaint was filed in New York City after the High Court heard that 3M CEO George Buckley "personally directed to 'pull the plug' on this life saving technology."
3M's accusations of "blackmail" reference settlement discussions initiated by 3M's lawyer William Brewer which occurred "under mutually and explicitly agreed rules of confidentiality," according to Mr. Boulter. "Mr. Brewer violated the rules of confidentiality regarding settlement negotiations by mischaracterizing statements made during a negotiation, and using them as a basis for a lawsuit accusing me of blackmailing 3M."
"3M's complaint does not pass the laugh test," said Lanny Davis, attorney for the Porton Group and Mr. Boulter. Mr. Wolosky noted that "3M has not even tried to serve its new lawsuit on The Porton Group or Mr. Boulter," instead only "sending copies to the media."
Attorney Robert Hopper announced that The Porton Group would be petitioning the UK National Health Service, Medicines Health Regulatory Agency, and the EU Medicines Agency "asking these agencies to urge the US FDA to investigate 3M and to cooperate with the NHS and EMEA in their own investigations of 3M." He emphasized Porton's "genuine belief that the failure to have BacLite approved by the US FDA has created a great matter of public health, as BacLite could have been in use for the past several years, as it originally was in the UK and EU for rapid, accurate and economic detection of MRSA at a 95.5% reliability rate."
For US Media Enquiries Contact: Dawn Schneider at +1-212-446-2308 or Maddie Melendez at +1-202-756-8293
For UK Media Enquiries Contact: Catherine Nicholls on +44-7789-644-979 or Charles Cook on +44-7710-910-563
SOURCE Porton Group