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On April 15, 2016, a federal jury in Madison, Wisconsin returned a $940 million trade secrets verdict for Jenner & Block client Epic Systems Corp., one of the leading health care software companies in the United States, in a substantial corporate espionage case against Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which is a part of one of the largest industrial conglomerates in India. After a 10-day trial, an eight-member jury found that TCS, a hired consultant, stole Epic’s trade secrets and other confidential information about Epic’s proprietary software. The verdict represents one of the largest trade secrets verdicts in US history and perhaps the largest verdict of any kind in Wisconsin.
Based in Verona, Wisconsin, Epic creates software for health care companies to manage their medical and health care records and other information, all focused on the patient; its software houses more than 190 million medical records worldwide. In 2003, Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest managed health care organization, chose Epic as its provider of health care software to help manage Kaiser’s patient and medical records. As part of the process for testing Epic’s software, Kaiser hired TCS to provide hundreds of consultants to do the testing, mostly in India but also in the United States.
Epic alleged that TCS workers, using improperly obtained credentials to access Epic’s Internet portal, tapped into Epic’s trade secrets and other confidential information, gaining access to more than 6,000 documents that have not been accounted for. Epic filed a federal lawsuit in 2014 accusing TCS of computer fraud, stealing trade secrets and breach of contract, and contending, in part, that TCS used Epic’s trade secrets and other confidential information to benefit TCS’s competing health care software product, Med Mantra.
The jury awarded Epic $240 million in compensatory damages and $700 million in punitive damages. After receiving the jury’s verdict, the court indicated that it was likely to reduce the damages, enter a permanent worldwide injunction and impose sanctions for TCS’s discovery misconduct.
Partner Rick Richmond led the trial team, which also comprised Partners Nick G. Saros, Julie Ann Shepard and Kelly M. Morrison; Associates AnnaMarie A. Van Hoesen, Andrew G. Sullivan and Mara Ludmer; Staff Attorney Rasheda D. Kilpatrick; paralegal Diana Vuong; executive assistant Evelyne Torres; and legal secretary Tracie A. McDaniel. Partner Brent Caslin provided support at several critical stages of the litigation. Additional contributions came from Associates Kate T. Spelman, Kathleen J. Covarrubias, Peter Goldschmidt and Max T. Selfridge; senior paralegal Christopher Ward; paralegals Charles Cheng and Robert Perrone; project assistant Julian Valenzuela; and legal secretary Alison Blackburn.