Comfort Dental v Dr. James Woolum

Published on January 2017 | Categories: Documents | Downloads: 34 | Comments: 0 | Views: 187
of 6
Download PDF   Embed   Report

Comments

Content

JEFFERSON COUNTY DISTRICT COURT, STATE OF COLORADO Address: Telephone: Plaintiff: v. Defendants: DR. JAMES A. WOOLUM, an individual. Attorneys for Defendants Eric B. Liebman (#27051) William F. Jones (#35294) Joshua P. Kweller (#40686) MOYE WHITE LLP 1400 16th Street, 6th Floor Denver, CO 80202 Telephone: (303) 292-2900 Facsimile: (303) 292-4510 Email: [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] COMPLAINT Plaintiff, Comfort Dental (“Comfort Dental”), by its attorneys, MOYE WHITE LLP, states: INTRODUCTION 1. This case arises from Defendant Dr. James A. Woolum’s (“Dr. Wollum”) slanderous statements made regarding the quality of Comfort Dental’s professional services. Dr. Woolum, an associate professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry at the University of Colorado Dental School, made untrue and defamatory comments denigrating the dental work performed by Comfort Dental and its inability to provide consistent quality care because it had a “business model to stick to.” Moreover, Dr. Woolum specifically tried to steer a student away from accepting employment with Comfort Dental for unjustifiable reasons. Comfort Dental seeks damages to rectify the harm it has suffered. Case No.: Division/Courtroom: COURT USE ONLY ___________________________ 100 Jefferson County Parkway Golden, Colorado 80401 (303) 271-6145 COMFORT DENTAL GROUP, INC., a Colorado Corporation,

PARTIES, JURISDICTION, AND VENUE 2. Comfort Dental is a Colorado corporation with its principal place of business at 2540 Kipling Street, Lakewood, Colorado 80215. 3. Defendant Dr. James A. Woolum (“Dr. Woolum”) is a Colorado citizen, who upon information and belief, resides at 2275 South Kenton Street, Aurora, Colorado 80014. 4. Jurisdiction is proper in Colorado pursuant to C.R.S. § 13-1-124 and the United States and Colorado constitutions as the acts complained of herein occurred in Colorado. 5. Venue is proper in this judicial district and county pursuant to C.R.C.P. 98(c) as among other things, Comfort Dental is located in Jefferson County and was harmed there. GENERAL ALLEGATIONS 6. Comfort Dental provides affordable dental care and is the largest dental franchise in the United States. Each office is independently owned and operated. 7. Dr. Woolum is an associate professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine (“CU Dental School”). 8. Dr. Woolum has repeatedly made disparaging remarks about Comfort Dental in front of and to students throughout his professorship at CU Dental School. 9. On information and belief, in 20071 a dental student approached Dr. Woolum to discuss her post-graduation career and job opportunities. Dr. Woolum told the student that “Whatever you do, don’t go to Perfect Teeth or Comfort Dental, and if you do, go to Perfect Teeth.” Dr. Woolum’s defamatory statement not only denigrated corporate dentistry, but also portrayed Comfort Dental as the worst of the corporate dentistry franchises. 10. Furthermore, in December 2013, on information and belief, Dr. Woolum was discussing Comfort Dental with a colleague when the colleague commented that Comfort Dental cannot provide “consistent, quality dental” care when all Comfort Dental cares about is the bottom line, to which Dr. Woolum replied that “Yeah, just because you have a business model to stick to.” 11. Dr. Woolum’s defamatory statements were made to and/or in front of students, administrative staff, and faculty. 12. Dr. Woolum’s defamatory statements were not made in the education of students or for any other beneficial purpose for the CU Dental School.
1

Comfort Dental did not discover this defamatory statement until Comfort Dental’s investigation in October 2013 revealed it.

2

13. Dr. Woolum’s statements are not based upon any facts or truth, as Dr. Woolum has no basis for his assertions that Comfort Dental should be avoided at all costs, that Comfort Dental provides poor dental care, or that Comfort Dental’s business model causes it to focus solely on the “bottom line” at the expense of quality patient treatment. 14. Dr. Woolum’s actions were willful and wanton in that he was consciously aware that his statements were not based upon any facts or truth and would harm Comfort Dental, but nonetheless intentionally made the defamatory statements without regard for the risk of harm that would result to Comfort Dental. 15. damaged. As a result of Dr. Woolum’s statements, Comfort Dental’s reputation has been

16. Based on information and belief, Dr. Woolum is likely to continue to make false and disparaging statements about Comfort Dental. FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Defamation – Outside the Scope of Employment) 17. herein. 18. As demonstrated more fully above, Defendant has made defamatory statements concerning Comfort Dental, the conduct of its business, and the quality of its dentists, including, but not limited to, the following: a. Repeatedly making disparaging remarks about Comfort Dental in front of and to students. b. Pushing a student to avoid Comfort Dental at all costs, even if it meant accepting a job with another dental franchise. c. Agreeing that Comfort Dental does not provide consistent, quality dental care since Comfort Dental only cares about the “bottom line.” 19. Defendant published these defamatory statements to third parties. The preceding paragraphs are incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth

20. These defamatory statements relate to the conduct of Comfort Dental’s business and professional reputation and thus are per se defamatory. 21. The substance or gist of the defamatory statements were false at the time Dr. Woolum made them.

3

22. Dr. Woolum’s acts were willful and wanton in that Dr. Woolum knew the defamatory statements were false and/or made the statements with reckless disregard as to their falsity and the harm that would be caused by his statements. 23. Dr. Woolum made the defamatory statements while outside the scope of his employment as an associate professor in that his defamatory statements were not made in the education of students or for any other benefit to his employer, but rather occurred in the faculty lounge during a conversation with another professor or while having a conversation with a student. The defamatory statements were unrelated to the work assigned to him, were not incidental to the work assigned to him, and provided no benefit to CU Dental School. 24. As a result of the defamatory statements, Comfort Dental has suffered damages in an amount to be proven at trial, including, but not limited to, actual damages, interest, costs, attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation. SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Defamation – in the Alternative to the First Claim for Relief) 25. herein. 26. As demonstrated more fully above, Defendant has made defamatory statements concerning Comfort Dental, the conduct of its business, and the quality of its dentists, including, but not limited to, the following: a. Repeatedly making disparaging remarks about Comfort Dental in front of and to students. b. Pushing a student to avoid Comfort Dental at all costs, even if it meant accepting a job with another dental franchise. c. Agreeing that Comfort Dental does not provide consistent, quality dental care since Comfort Dental only cares about the “bottom line.” 27. Defendant published these defamatory statements to third parties. The preceding paragraphs are incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth

28. These defamatory statements relate to the conduct of Comfort Dental’s business and professional reputation and thus are per se defamatory. 29. The substance or gist of the defamatory statements are false at the time Dr. Woolum made them. 30. Dr. Woolum knew the defamatory statements were false and/or made the statements with reckless disregard as to their falsity and the harm that would be caused by his statements. 4

31. As a result of the defamatory statements, Comfort Dental has suffered damages in an amount to be proven at trial, including, but not limited to, actual damages, interest, costs, attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Comfort Dental Group, Inc. respectfully requests that this Honorable Court enter judgment in favor of Plaintiff Comfort Dental Group, Inc. and against Dr. James A. Woolum as follows: a. b. c. d. e. For damages in an amount to be proven at trial as to Comfort Dental’s claims for defamation; For a preliminary and permanent injunction against Dr. Woolum from making false statements regarding Comfort Dental; For all costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees as allowed by law; For pre- and post-judgment interest as allowed by law; and For such other and further relief this Court deems just and proper.

Respectfully submitted this ____ day of December, 2013. MOYE WHITE LLP

By:

/s/ Eric. B. Liebman Eric B. Liebman (#27051) William F. Jones (#35294) Joshua P. Kweller (#40686) 16 Market Square 1400 16th Street, 6th Floor Denver, Colorado 80202-1027 Telephone: (303) 292-2900 Facsimile: (303) 292-4510 Email: [email protected] Email: [email protected] Email: [email protected]

Attorneys for Comfort Dental Group, Inc. ADDRESS OF PLAINTIFF:

5

Comfort Dental Group, Inc. 2540 Kipling Street Lakewood, Colorado 80215

6

Sponsor Documents

Or use your account on DocShare.tips

Hide

Forgot your password?

Or register your new account on DocShare.tips

Hide

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Back to log-in

Close