LOS ANGELES — British conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser has been
named in a $150 million lawsuit by California-based company
According to a news
release, Absorption has alleged that Reckitt Benckiser stole
propriety information from the company in order to develop a new
product for market.
The issue originated in 2014 when Reckitt Benckiser began a merger
and takeover of Absorption. The latter provided Reckitt Benckiser
with extensive and often sensitive information including
customer-sales statistics and new-product formulas. According to
Absorption Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeff Abraham, the company was already
considering a $150 million acquisition offer, but Reckitt Benckiser
advised the company to hold off as they were also an interested party
that could offer more money.
As Reckitt Benckiser is a manufacturer of well-known household
items such as Lysol, Airwick, Mucinex and Woolite, Absorption's move
to wait for the impending offer was not viewed as a poor move.
At the behest of Reckitt Benckiser, Absorption began sharing its
documents to help the former get more-accurate insight into the
company’s business practices. Among the items shared was
Promescent, a spray intended to help with premature ejaculation. The
formula was developed by the late Dr. Ron Gilbert, who was murdered
Absorption has claimed that Reckitt Benckiser stole the formula
for the spray and developed their own version to release to market
known as K-Y Duration. The new product was launched in September 2016
around the same time the merger allegedly fell through.
Reckitt Benckiser had previously come under fire when a lawsuit
was filed by 41 states and the District of Columbia against the
company in regards to one of its top-selling products, Suboxone. The
medication, which is used to treat opiate and opioid addictions,
apparently did not adhere to the safety claims the company made to
keep its production monopoly.
The 32-page complaint seeks
$150 million dollars in compensatory damages, attorney fees, and