A Question of Ethics—The IDDR Approach and Damages. Dr. John Braun conceived a cutting-edge device to treat adolescent scoliosis, a severe deformity of the spine. As consideration for the assignment of his intellectual property in the invention, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc., a medical device manufacturer, offered Braun a higher-than-typical royalty and upfront payment. Medtronic also promised to fund expensive human trials for the device to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. But Medtronic never applied for permission to conduct human clinical studies. Finally, frustrated with the lack of performance on the contract, Braun filed a suit in a federal district court against Medtronic, seeking damages for breach. [Braun v. Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc. 2017 WL 6388810 (10th Cir. 2017)] (See Damages.)
Why would Medtronic make expensive promises and fail to perform? Is this ethical? Discuss, using the IDDR approach.
What would be the measure of damages that Braun seeks? Do the circumstances warrant an award of punitive damages? Explain.
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