September 20, 2013 / 1:42 PM / 4 years ago

Becton Dickinson may have to pay up to $340 mln in syringe suit

Sept 20 (Reuters) - Becton Dickinson and Co said it may have to pay up to $340 million after a federal jury found the medical device maker guilty of attempting to monopolize the safety syringe market through deceptive practices.

The jury in a Texas district court awarded $113.5 million to safety syringes maker Retractable Technologies Inc, which filed the lawsuit.

Retractable Technologies shares more than doubled in premarket trading.

Under antitrust laws, Becton Dickinson said it would be liable to pay triple the jury award. The company, which said it would appeal the verdict, will take a related pretax charge of about $340 million in the fourth quarter.

Safety syringes are designed to keep patients safe from needlestick injuries and contamination, and work in various ways, including retractable needles or a mechanism that blocks the barrel once depressed.

Retractable Technologies shares jumped 141 percent to $4.35 in premarket trade before being halted. Becton Dickinson shares were down 0.4 percent at $102.51 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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