Suture Express, in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas, alleges that Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor, which sell various medical products, threatened customers with “prohibitive” financial penalties if their orders didn’t include sutures and endomechanical products such as surgical staplers.
Suture Express, which has 40 employees, contends that as a specialty provider, the practice put it at a disadvantage because many customers couldn’t choose to use the company because of the penalties and other disincentives.
Brian Forsythe, CEO of Suture Express, said in a statement that the penalties made it financially impossible to buy its products even if they were at a lower price.
The antitrust suit seeks a “level playing field” and more than $200 million in damages because of lost sales. Antitrust suits allow triple damages.