American Academy of Emergency Medicine

Orthodontists Win Key Ruling Against Dental Management Company

Dallas Federal Court Ruling That OrthAlliance Contracts Are Illegal Could Affect Similar Cases Around the Country

DALLAS, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 04/07/2003 -- Orthodontists who say they were misled by a company that promised to better manage their practices have won a significant legal battle in a Dallas federal court. Federal District Judge David Godbey ruled that OrthAlliance, Inc. was practicing dentistry without a license. Judge Godbey also declared "illegal in their entirety" management contracts between three Texas orthodontists and OrthAlliance.

The plaintiffs, Dr. Robert Penny, Dr. Keith Stewart and Dr. William Reeves each signed agreements in which they turned over the management of their orthodontic practices to OrthAlliance, Inc. But they say the company, a subsidiary of Orthodontic Centers of America, Inc., failed to live up to the terms -- while it continued to siphon off thousands of dollars per month from their respective practices.

Dr. Penny and the other plaintiffs were represented in the case by Roger Cowie, Brian Colao and Chris LaVigne of Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP and David Bryant of Diamond McCarthy Taylor Finley Bryant & Lee LLP. The attorneys represent more than 40 other orthodontists in similar lawsuits against OrthAlliance, Inc. pending in California, Florida, Washington, Georgia, Indiana, Colorado and Tennessee.

"The important thing to note here," says attorney David Bryant, "is that the ruling will likely have an impact well beyond the borders of Texas. Other states have laws regulating the practice of dentistry very similar to ours. Because OrthAlliance was illegally practicing dentistry without a license here, it's probable the company is doing so in those states as well."

Judge Godbey's ruling in favor of the orthodontists applies only to portions of their complaint. Others claims, including those relating to fraud and seeking monetary damages, are still pending.

For information about the case, contact David Bryant at Diamond McCarthy Taylor Finley Bryant & Lee LLP at 214-389-5323 or Mark Annick at Androvett Legal Media and Marketing, at telephone 800-559-4534, pager 214-967-2299 or e-mail mark@legalpr.com

Contact: David Bryant
Company: Diamond McCarthy Taylor Finley Bryant & Lee LLP
Phone: 214-389-5323

Contact: Mark Annick
Company: Androvett Legal Media and Marketing
Phone: 800-559-4534
Email: mark@legalpr.com
Pager: 214-967-2299

SOURCE:  Androvett Legal Media

Posted with permission from MarketWire.Com