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Former Sequenom CFO Files Suit against Firm

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Former Sequenom CFO Paul Hawran has filed a suit against the firm and certain directors claiming among other allegations that they have defamed him.

Hawran resigned from Sequenom a year ago, following the completion of an investigation into mishandled R&D test data in the firm's Down syndrome molecular diagnostic program. The result of that investigation was the firing of President and CEO Harry Stylli and Senior VP of R&D Elizabeth Dragon, along with the resignations of Hawran and Steve Owings, who was vice president of commercial development for prenatal diagnostics.

Hawran's suit was filed Aug. 26 in the Superior Court of California for the North County of San Diego. The suit names the firm as well as current Chairman and CEO Harry Hixson, Interim Senior VP of R&D Ronald Lindsay, and Director Richard Lerner, as defendants. All three of those defendants served on the special committee that conducted the investigation into wrongdoing.

According to a filing by Sequenom this week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Hawran has sued the defendants for defamation and invasion of privacy, and for negligently or intentionally interfering with his "prospective economic advantage," and for unfair business practices covered by California law.

Hawran has alleged in his complaint that he was asked to resign because he had raised concerns about the conduct of certain directors of the firm.

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