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April 2, 2013

KC surgeon and inventor awarded $12.2 million in royalties lawsuit

Roger P. Jackson, who has practiced at North Kansas City Hospital since 1979, invented a widely used operating table for spinal surgeries.

A Kansas City orthopedic surgeon who invented a widely used operating table for spinal surgeries has won a $12.2 million judgment for unpaid royalties from the table’s manufacturer and distributor.

The surgeon, Roger P. Jackson, has practiced at North Kansas City Hospital since 1979 and invented what has come to be known as the “Jackson Table” in the late 1980s, according to a statement from the Polsinelli Shughart law firm announcing the decision.

Jackson reached an agreement with a California firm in 1990 to market and sell the operating table, its modifications and accessories. That firm was later bought by a Japanese company, Mizuho Orthopedic Systems.

R. Dan Boulware, the Polsinelli attorney who represented a trust created by the doctor in 1995 on behalf of his wife, Sandra, said Jackson filed a lawsuit because Mizuho failed to pay royalties on the accessories between 2001 and 2011.

Boulware said the doctor and the trust received $30 million in royalties for the operating bed but later determined that additional royalties should have been paid for the accessories.

Those accessories included a disposable patient care kit, which the attorney said brought in millions of dollars to Mizuho over the 10 years in question, and replacement parts for the table.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for Western Missouri. Last week, Judge Gary A. Fenner awarded $10.7 million in damages and $1.5 million in interest, a total of $12.2 million.

“It was not our preference to get involved in this court suit,” Jackson said. “I strongly preferred a continuing and mutually beneficial business relationship with Mizuho, but we are pleased the court agreed with us.”

Jackson also has served as a clinical assistant professor in the orthopedic surgery department at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

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