NuVasive Inc. is suing its former vice chairman and board member Patrick Miles for allegedly violating his contractual obligations.
The lawsuit filed in the Delaware Chancery Court alleges that Miles breached his fiduciary duties to the company by joining Alphatec Holdings Inc. the day after his resignation from NuVasive in October.
NuVasive also alleged that Miles failed to disclose ownership of $500,000 Alphatec shares that he purchased earlier this year, according to a news release. Miles is set to receive additional shares and warrants as part of his employment agreement with Alphatec, meaning he could potentially own up to 23% of the company's outstanding stock.
The lawsuit also noted that NuVasive passed on potentially acquiring Alphatec in 2016 after Miles, who was then president and COO, advised against it.
Alphatec said in a news release that the lawsuit was a "frivolous PR stunt" intended to "inflict maximum damage to the public reputations of both Mr. Miles and Alphatec."
Miles also responded to the complaint in Alphatec's news release, noting that he chose to pursue a new opportunity at Alphatec not with the intent to damage NuVasive — in which he remains a significant shareholder — but to "align my talents and influence with a company that is focused on serving spine surgeons and their patients."
"The allegations made by NuVasive against me are clearly false, and typical of a management team reacting to mass departures of key, spine-experienced executives," Miles added in the statement.
Alphatec said in its release that NuVasive's law firm is also representing Alphatec in related matters.
DLA Piper is acting as NuVasive's legal counsel for the case.