Covetrus, formerly Vets First Choice, and IDEXX Laboratories, both part of a cluster of animal health companies around Portland, settled their lawsuit on April 24, 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Vets First Choice

IDEXX Laboratories, a veterinary diagnostic and testing company based in Westbrook, and Covetrus, a Portland-based veterinary company, said Wednesday that they have settled a lawsuit filed in district court last August.

The notice of voluntary dismissal with prejudice was filed with the court Wednesday. Each party will bear its own attorney’s fees and costs.

In a joint statement released Wednesday morning by IDEXX, the companies said they have resolved and dismissed IDEXX’s claims against Vets First Choice, a Covetrus company, and two of its employees.

“Covetrus and IDEXX acknowledge their respective obligations to their customers and employees to take appropriate measures to safeguard and ensure proper handling of confidential information,” the release states.

“All parties, including the Covetrus employees named in the complaint, cooperated to bring this matter to an amicable resolution. Covetrus and IDEXX appreciate that this matter is resolved. There will be no further comment from any of the parties on this matter.”

Vets First Choice was renamed Covetrus after it merged with a division of Henry Schein of New York earlier this year. The company spun out from the merger was renamed Covetrus, which subsequently went public.

Covetrus is an animal health technology and services company. Vets First Choice is a prescription management platform that is part of Covetrus.

Its CEO, Benjamin Shaw, said that the merged company would have sales of about $3.6 billion, making it Maine’s largest publicly traded company, aside from banks. Shaw will be CEO of the new company and join its board of directors.

IDEXX made the 32-page filing last August against Direct Market Marketing, a company also doing business as Vets First Choice, and two former IDEXX employees, Dan Leach and Agostino Scicchitano, who were later hired by Vets First Choice.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, claimed a breach of contract and actual and/or threatened misappropriation of trade secrets.

IDEXX was seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

“Two employees accessed and transferred an unusually large number of files toward the end of their employment with IDEXX,” an IDEXX spokeswoman wrote in an email response to the Bangor Daily News at the time.