STAAR Surgical settles litigation

May 15, 2010

After years of wrangling in court with two former regional manufacturer's representatives, officials at STAAR Surgical Co. hope a $4 million settlement will allow it to move forward with new products and solidify its financial status.

Monrovia, CA-After years of wrangling in court with two former regional manufacturer's representatives, officials at STAAR Surgical Co. hope a $4 million settlement will allow it to move forward with new products and solidify its financial picture.

The company announced March 31 that it would settle lawsuits brought by Parallax Medical Systems Inc. and Scott C. Moody Inc. (SMI), which accused STAAR of interfering with their plan to sell Bausch + Lomb products. After separate trials, juries had awarded $11.4 million in damages to the independent sales companies, but STAAR subsequently negotiated a $4 million payment "as its contribution to the global settlement," in exchange for "complete mutual releases," STAAR announced in the prepared statement.

The company said the settlement should resolve questions by its independent registered public accounting firm about STAAR's financial position. In the company's audited consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ended Jan. 2, 2009, its accounting firm had indicated that "substantial doubt" existed about the company's ability to continue as a going concern.

"STAAR believes that the settlement will resolve this doubt and that it will receive an unqualified opinion on its audited financial statements," the company said in its March 31 news release. Christopher Gale, a spokesman, declined to comment further.