This article first appeared in The Cook County Record on Oct. 2, 2017.
Written by Dan Churney
A medical waste disposal container company is taking a second shot at asking a Chicago federal judge to stem the spread of a medical study on hospital bacterial infection rates, which the company has alleged is specious, yet is being used by a competitor to infect the reputation of the company’s products.
Daniels Sharpsmart Inc. filed suit Sept. 26 alleging competitor Becton, Dickinson and Company Inc. violated the federal Lanham Act and the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and engaged in unfair competition under Illinois common law. The action was lodged in U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois.
Both companies design, make and market container systems for the disposal of sharp medical waste, such as syringes, blood collection devices and intravenous needles. The containers are known as “sharps” containers and come in two types – reusable and disposable. Daniels sells reusable containers, while Becton sells disposables.
Daniels' main office is in Chicago and Becton is based in Franklin Lakes, N.J.
The suit, as well as an action brought by Daniels in 2015, revolve around a study commissioned by Becton.
The 2015 action was dropped in May 2017 after both sides agreed to drop the suit, saying they were negotiating a settlement. However, they also agreed to stop the clock on the statute of limitations, so if negotiations failed, the case could be resumed after the statute would have otherwise expired.
The new suit does not mention the first suit.
The Chicago firm of Levenfeld Pearlstein is pursuing the new suit for Daniels, as it did in the 2015 litigation.
Becton was defended in the previous suit by Epstein, Becker & Green, which has offices in Chicago and Newark, N.J. No firm has yet filed an appearance on Becton's behalf in the new action.
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