Hoffmann & Baron Has Business Tort Causes Of Action Dismissed

Hoffmann & Baron successfully defended the President and Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Technology Officer and two Sales Representatives against various business torts allegations.  Cayenne Medical, Inc. (“Cayenne”) initially filed a complaint alleging that patents related to methods and orthopedic devices for attaching soft tissue to bone were infringed by MedShape, Inc. (“MedShape”).  Subsequently, Cayenne amended its complaint and accused MedShape’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and its Chief Technology Officer of a number of business torts, including misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, intentional interference with a contract, intentional interference with a business expectancy and civil conspiracy.  Additionally, Cayenne accused two MedShape sales representatives of trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of contract.

Noting the flaws in Cayenne’s allegations and relying on Supreme Court precedent, Hoffmann & Baron promptly moved to dismiss the allegations against MedShape’s executives.  Additionally, Hoffmann & Baron moved to dismiss the allegations against MedShape’s sales representatives, noting that a pre-existing arbitration clause required an arbitrator, not a federal district court judge, to resolve each allegation against the sales representatives.

In separate opinions dated September 15, 2015, Judge Holland of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona dismissed all causes of action against the executives and sales representatives.  With respect to the allegations against the executives, agreeing with the arguments advanced by Hoffmann & Baron, the Court held that it lacked personal jurisdiction over each executive and dismissed each Cayenne cause of action.  The allegations against both sales representatives were also dismissed, the Court observing that each allegation was subject to a pre-existing arbitration provision.

John Gallagher represented MedShape’s executives and sales representatives.

View Opinion 1 PDF

View Opinion 2 PDF