Biotech Trial Enters Penalty Phase
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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Lawyers for City of Hope National Medical Center returned to court Monday, asking jurors who awarded the hospital $300.1 million in compensatory damages to levy substantial punitive damages against biotech pioneer Genentech Inc.
The Superior Court jury ruled last week that Genentech willfully withheld royalties on several drugs developed from City of Hope research under a 1976 licensing agreement that helped launch the biotechnology revolution.
The jury also found on a 10-2 vote that Genentech acted with malice or fraud, a finding that triggered this week’s second phase of the trial to determine punitive damages.
Glenn Krinsky, in-house counsel for City of Hope, did not ask the jury for a specific number Monday, but made it clear he hoped for a ``significant″ award to deter future wrongdoing by other companies.
Krinsky said it was possible the hospital would suggest a range of damages to the jury after both sides have presented testimony.
``It’s possible we will make a suggestion for specific numbers or it may be left entirely to their discretion,″ Krinsky said.
City of Hope is expected to present witnesses Tuesday, after which Genentech will present its case. Both sides will then make closing arguments, and the jury could begin deliberations as early as Thursday.