Howard Root is the CEO of Minneapolis-based medical device maker Vascular Solutions. Among the company’s products is one called the Varilase short kit, a device approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat varicose veins.
This product also was the cause of a $25 million dollar headache for Root.
That’s how much it cost him and his company to fight the U.S. Department of Justice’s criminal charges that the company illegally marketed the product.
Root denies the claims and says his company had all the FDA permissions they needed to sell the product as they did.
What’s more, Root says the government did anything it could to get a conviction, including coercing his employees to change their testimony to help the government’s case.
It took more than 100 lawyers in 14 different law firms, but in February a Texas jury acquitted Root and Vascular Solutions on all counts.
But Root’s acquittal may not stop government prosecutors from aggressively charging others.
Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey sees the Howard Root story as a harbinger of a newly aggressive government prosecution strategy – one that is troubling. “Simply an urge to have bodies swinging from lamp posts isn’t a very edifying way for the justice department to proceed,” says Mukasey.
Watch the video above to learn more.