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Illumina to Pay $7.7 Million for Wrongful Termination of CSO Anthony Czarnik

NEW YORK, July 12 - Illumina must pay at least $7.7 million in damages and litigation expenses in connection with a jury verdict for wrongful termination of co-founder and former chief scientific officer Anthony Czarnik, the company said today.


Czarnik filed a complaint against the fiber optic bead array maker for wrongful termination in March 2001, in California Superior Court. The case went to trial, and the judgement against Illumina is set to be filed on Monday.


Illumina said it would take the $7.7 million charge on its second-quarter financial statement, which it plans to release next Thursday, but would appeal the ruling.


"We believe that this termination was lawful in all respects and that the verdict was unsupported by evidence presented at the trial. The Company plans to vigorously defend its position on appeal," said Jay Flatley, Illumina president and CEO, in a statement.


Czarnik, who currently serves as chief scientific officer of Sensors for Medical Science in Germantown, Md., and as a scientific advisor to Rubicon Genomics of Ann Arbor, Mich., could not be reached for comment.


Illumina, based in San Diego, reported $1.3 million in revenues for the first quarter, and $90.6 million in assets as of March 31.

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