DENTSPLY International Inc. (DENTSPLY) said that on October 9, 2009, in a case pending in the US District Court in New Mexico between DENTSPLY and Guidance Endodontics, LLC. (Guidance Endodontics), a New Mexico-based company, a jury on a 6-3 vote, returned a verdict against DENTSPLY in the amount of approximately $4 million for compensatory and $40 million in punitive damages.
The company also stated that it believes this decision is clearly not supported by the facts in the case nor the applicable law and intends to vigorously pursue all available options to challenge it.
The case centered on an alleged breach of contract under a 2008 agreement between DENTSPLY and Guidance Endodontics. Prior to trial, Guidance Endodontics had claimed that it had damages of approximately $1.2 million as a result of the alleged breach. DENTSPLY believes that it did not breach the contract nor act unlawfully in any manner, and that the award of punitive damages is completely unwarranted and contrary to applicable law. DENTSPLY believes that the decision should be overturned and will pursue post trial actions to that end. DENTSPLY does not expect the outcome of this case to have a material adverse effect on its financial condition.
DENTSPLY designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of products for the dental market.