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Msg  4926 of 6350  at  12/21/2009 10:24:33 PM  by


Georgetown Medical vs Radiosurgery Management

Some notable defense verdicts in 2009 in Md.

by Caryn Tamber
Dolan Media Newswires
Issue Date: 12/21/2009

BALTIMORE, MD -- Some notable defense verdicts from this year

Medstar-Georgetown Medical Center Inc. v. Radiosurgery Management Assoc. LLC

In 2001, Georgetown Medical Center decided to buy a $3 million piece of equipment called the CyberKnife, which treats tumors non-invasively using radiation. To finance the purchase, Georgetown turned to Radiosurgery Management Associates, which agreed to pay for the CyberKnife in exchange for a share of the revenue.

The machine was a runaway success, and a few years later, Georgetown decided to buy a second one on its own. That knife was installed in 2007.

RMA protested, arguing that its deal with Georgetown created a joint venture requiring them to share revenue from future CyberKnife machines, and obligating Georgetown not to divert patients from the first to the second machine.

Georgetown filed suit in 2007 in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

The fundamental dispute was, whats the legal nature of the relationship between the parties for acquiring the CyberKnife?, said Steven P. Hollman, a lawyer at Hogan & Hartson LLP who represented Georgetown with co-counsel Stanley J. Reed of Lerch, Early & Brewer Chtd. Is it a joint venture, as the defendant, RMA, maintained, or is it a lease, as Georgetown Hospital maintained?

RMA soon countersued.

The dispute arose because the CyberKnife turned into a great success, said Jeffrey M. Schwaber, who represented RMA, and Georgetown decided to acquire a second knife and took the position that the second knife was just theirs, and that they were entitled to 100 percent of the revenue from the second knife even though the knives shared staff and shared resources and even though Georgetown controlled the patient allocation between the two knives.

Schwaber, of Stein, Sperling, Bennett, De Jong, Driscoll & Greenfeig P.C., said RMA sued for revenues from the knife retrospectively and prospectively, though he could not attach an exact figure to the claim because of a lack of usage data from Georgetown. The claim was in the tens of millions of dollars, he said.

The two sides appeared before Judge Michael D. Mason for a 10-day bench trial in July. Mason ruled in Georgetowns favor. RMA has appealed.

Schwaber said both partners in RMA developed cancer after buying the CyberKnife; both were treated at Georgetown. One of the men, Maurice Feldman, subsequently died, Schwaber said.

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