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US court upholds $140 mn compensation to Epic Systems in lawsuit against TCS

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An appeals court in the US has upheld the compensatory damages of $140 million while directing reassessment of the punitive damage of $280 million against Tata Consultancies Services (TCS) in a trade secret lawsuit filed by American medical software company Epic Systems.

The US Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, Chicago, held that the punitive damages award of $280 million is constitutionally excessive and directed the Trial Court to reassess the punitive damages. The court however upheld the compensatory damages award of $140 million, according to an exchange filing by TCS, India’s largest software services provider.

In 2018, TCS gave Epic Systems a $440-million letter of credit. TCS’ appeal against US software firm Epic Systems’ trade secret theft lawsuit moved to a US federal appeals court in May, 2019.

“TCS is exploring the options available to it, as it believes that there is no evidence of misuse of EPIC information by TCS. TCS will vigorously defend its position before the relevant court,” the company said in a statement to stock exchanges.

The US firm’s lawsuit dates back to 2014. The Epic Systems had accused TCS stealing its intellectual property. A jury in 2016 found TCS guilty and awarded Epic Systems a damage worth $940 million. A year after the original award, a court in Wisconsin brought the damage amount down to $420 million. It was done to comply with an existing legal limit on punitive damages for such matters.

Epic had claimed that TCS employees were brought on as consultants to a Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center in Portland to help implement an Epic software there and took more than 6,000 documents containing Epic’s development information by creating a fake user account. The user pretended to be an employee of the hospital and did not disclose that he was a consultant, the lawsuit said.

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