TycoIS Cleared of Liability in Pharmaceutical Theft Lawsuit

Federal jury rules in favor of security provider in $60 million case filed by Eli Lilly.

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Associated Press reports that a federal jury in Florida has determined Tyco Integrated Security (TycoIS) isn’t liable for the theft of more than $60 million worth of prescription drugs from pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly’s warehouse in Connecticut six years ago. A jury in Miami reached the verdict Monday in favor of Tyco, formerly known as ADT Security Services and based in Boca Raton, Fla.

Eli Lilly’s insurer, the National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, sued TycoIS, alleging the company failed to adequately secure a report detailing security weaknesses at the warehouse in Enfield. The insurance company said the thieves somehow obtained information from the report and used it to break into the building.

In what authorities called the biggest heist in Connecticut history, thieves cut through the roof of Eli Lilly’s warehouse in Enfield, about 20 miles north of Hartford, in the early morning hours of March 14, 2010. They rappelled to the floor, disabled alarms, used a forklift to load pallets of antidepressants, antipsychotics and other drugs into a truck and drove off.

Stolen were thousands of boxes of Prozac, Zyprexa, Cymbalta and other pharmaceuticals. Five men, all from Florida, pleaded guilty in connection with the theft. Three of them were sentenced to prison, one got probation and another awaits sentencing.

The lawsuit said the thieves parked a tractor trailer in the only loading bay outside the view of surveillance cameras – a weakness noted in Tyco’s security report on the building. They went to a small area on the roof that also was identified in the report, where they cut a hole and rappelled down to an area in the warehouse that the Tyco report noted was not monitored by security equipment, the lawsuit said.

Tyco said in court documents there was no proof the thieves had information from the report. The company also said the lawsuit never said the burglars actually had confidential information about the warehouse’s alarm system or how they got it.

“We are pleased with the verdict in Tyco’s favor, but disappointed that the case had to be resolved by a two-week jury trial,” the company said in a statement Tuesday, according to AP. “It was gratifying that the jury found there was no evidence supporting the theory put forth by the insurance company plaintiff.”

Read Security Sales & Integration legal analyst Ken Kirschenbaum’s take on the case.

About the Author

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Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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