Epic Systems wins $940 mln U.S. jury verdict in Tata trade secret case

(Reuters) - A jury in Wisconsin has awarded medical software company Epic Systems $940 million in damages in a trade secret lawsuit against Indian information technology provider Tata Consultancies, believed to one of the largest trade-secrets verdicts on record.

Epic first sued Tata in 2014 with allegations that it illicitly downloaded documentation for software it had been hired to help install at Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, accusing the Indian company of “brazenly stealing” confidential information and trade secrets in order to help its competing healthcare software provider, Med Mantra, according to court documents. It filed an amended complaint in 2015.

The jury in federal court in Wisconsin on Friday found in Epic’s favor on seven claims including breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and unfair enrichment. It awarded $240 million in compensatory damages and $700 million in punitive damages, court documents said.

An Epic spokesman declined to comment.

Tata plans to appeal the decision, the company said in a statement.

“The jury’s verdict on liability and damages was unexpected as the company believes they are unsupported by the evidence presented during the trial,” the statement said. “The company did not misuse or derive any benefit from downloaded documents from Epic System’s user-web portal.”

Tata also said it “appreciates the trial judge’s announcement from the bench that he is almost certain he will reduce the damages award.”

Epic, a privately held company based in Verona, Wisconsin, is the leading provider of medical records systems used in hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout the United States.

Tata Consultancies, part of the sprawling Tata conglomerate, is one of the largest global providers of information technology software and services, with 324,000 employees worldwide, according to the company’s Website.

The case is Epic Systems Corporation vs. Tata Consultancy Services Limited and Tata America International Corporation, Western District of Wisconsin, case number 14-cv-748-wmc.

Reporting by Jonathan Weber; editing by Grant McCool