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Imaging Solutions Wins Case Against Macro Niche, R/Med and Ruthemeyer in U.S. Lawsuit

by Luke Molnar

HOUSTON, TEXAS — On January 17, 2014 healthcare imaging equipment supplier Imaging Solutions won USD $129,607 in damages against Houston-based Macro Niche Software Inc., R/Med., Inc. and the CEO Michael J. Ruthemeyer after a two-day trial before a Houston federal jury.

The case involves remaining issues related to damages suffered by Imaging Solutions as a result of misrepresentations and fraud committed by Macro Niche, R/Med, and Ruthemeyer. Specifically, Ruthemeyer was found to have supplied false and misleading information to Imaging Solutions regarding his agreement to award a new exclusive distributorship agreement for a radiation protection asset tracking tool called ApronCheck in Australia and New Zealand.

The case began in August 2012 when Macro Niche, R/Med., Inc., and Ruthemeyer sued Imaging Solutions over the creation of a competing product called RadTrack™. The last of Macro Niche’s claims against Imaging Solutions were dismissed in December by the judge presiding over the case, and Imaging Solutions then won a string of favourable related court rulings, including the January 17 damages award. The award came on the heels of a January 10 bench ruling by U.S. District Judge David Hittner that dismissed all of Macro Niche’s remaining claims against other co-defendants. Judge Hittner ruled that Macro Niche had failed to disclose a computation of its damages, essentially leaving Macro Niche with nothing to present in court. The only remaining issue to be decided in the case is Imaging Solutions’ motion for attorneys’ fees.

“The jury’s unanimous decision is yet another indicator of what we’ve been saying since this lawsuit originally was filed in 2012: that Imaging Solutions has at all times acted with absolute integrity,” said Glenn Honey, Imaging Solutions’ Managing Director.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Ruthemeyer and Macro Niche pursued this groundless and malicious litigation, but we’re happy that it has been so resoundingly decided in our favour. As we enter the American market, I am hopeful that others considering such lawsuits take note of the determination and resolve that our company has to stand up for what we believe is right.”

Mr. Honey praised Imaging Solution’s attorneys, Gregory L. Porter and Lee Davis, both of Houston’s Andrews Kurth.

“Greg and Lee did beautiful work in this case,” Mr. Honey said. “They eviscerated – there’s no other word for it – all of Macro Niche’s claims and defences, literally leaving them with nothing to argue in court. I’m grateful for their outstanding legal work and dedication.”

In a December 18 summary judgment ruling, Judge Hittner dismissed Macro Niche’s copyright infringement and civil conspiracy claims and disqualified one of Macro Niche’s experts. On January 10, the judge dismissed Macro Niche’s breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and conspiracy claims against the co-defendants. In its original complaint, Macro Niche had claimed that Imaging Solutions had misappropriated the RadTrack™ software used to track and inspect lead aprons used in X-rays – a claim that Imaging Solutions has categorically denied.

Imaging Solutions is now seeking attorney fees based on the argument that Macro Niche’s case was frivolous, that it was based on unreasonable legal and factual claims, and that the company’s motivation for bringing the lawsuit was improper.

“By pursuing attorney fees, we hope to deter other plaintiffs from filing similarly frivolous lawsuits,” says Mr. Honey. “In my opinion Mr. Ruthemeyer’s objective was to intimidate Imaging Solutions and reduce competition.”

Mr. Porter added, “Lee and I were honoured to represent Imaging Solutions over the past 17 months and are proud of the results we obtained.”