Introduction: Dr. Sargon Lazarof vs. USC(University of Southern California)
This website has been created to assist those interested in the Sargon v. USC case learn about the facts related to the litigation. This web site is necessary because it has come to my attention that there has been a significant amount of misinformation concerning the litigation between USC and Sargon Dental Implants. Indeed, I have heard that the dental community at USC believes that USC prevailed in the litigation with Sargon. In fact, Sargon prevailed and the California Supreme Court recently refused to consider USC's request that it be deemed the prevailing party.
As a brief summary however, please note the following:
1. USC currently has paid Sargon Dental Implants approximately Six million dollars stemming from its breach of a clinical trial agreement which was supposed to test the efficacy of the Sargon Dental Implant. A jury, in a 12-0 decision, found that USC failed in its obligations under the study agreement. The Appellate Court authorized Sargon to return to court to obtain even more money against USC in the form of attorneys' fees and additional damages. Recently, the Court awarded Sargon 4 million dollars in attorney fees. The appellate court expressly stated that Sargon can sue for fraud, interference with business relationships, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and negligence, plus additional actual and punitive damages including attorneys fees, among other remedies.
Also, the appellate court determined that Sargon is the prevailing party on the written contract and can seek additional damages and fees on that count. The Appellate Court expressly stated that Sargon may pursue its claims that USC, "intentionally destroyed and altered patient records in the clinical trial study, allowed the approval of the clinical trial study by the USC Institutional Review Board to lapse, assigned unqualified investigators to work on the study, and failed to disclose during discovery $300,000 in donations from Sargon's competitor, Noble Biocare." After completion of the next phase of the litigation, USC will likely owe millions more to Sargon.
2. Sargon appealed the rulings of the Trial Court which limited Sargon's ability to seek a greater amount of damages at trial. The Trial Court also limited Sargon's ability to introduce evidence concerning Sargon's claims that USC engaged in fraud. The Appellate Court reversed the Trial Court on those matters and reinstated all of Sargon's fraud and tort claims against USC. The Appellate Court further ordered that Sargon is the prevailing party and ordered that Sargon be paid its attorneys' fees. Sargon is now proceeding back to the Trial Court to present evidence as to how much additional monies USC should pay.
While you can read more about the trial on the web site, please keep in mind that the case was decided in Sargon's favor by a 12-0 juror vote, and indeed, some of the jurors executed declarations expressing their dismay with USC's behavior. These declarations are posted on the web site, but consider the following comments from one juror:
"I also found it enormously upsetting that Dr. Chee and the University of Southern California would place their own interests, namely harming Dr. Lazarof and advancing non-meritorious defenses above the interests of the patients who could potentially benefit from the Sargon Implant System."
As many of you know, Sargon is a small company which cannot match USC's resources or its ability to manufacture PR which reflects negatively on Sargon. Sargon has suffered enormously at the hands of USC because of USC's strange desire to do harm to Sargon. This entire event has been upsetting, perhaps most acutely, because I am a USC alumnus and have always loved USC. USC decided that instead of honoring its obligations to Sargon, it was more expedient to simply do harm to Sargon. Thankfully, a jury, the Appellate Court and the California Supreme Court, saw through USC's smoke and mirrors. I would simply ask that you read the facts and judge for yourself what this case is all about.
As a final thought, I have quoted below another comment from a juror:
" I found it terribly upsetting that in a matter of such seriousness, USC and Dr. Chee performed their duties in such a grossly incompetent manner. By all accounts at the trial, The Sargon Implant system is efficacious and revolutionary. Dr. Chee and USC were charged with the duty of testing the system so it could ultimately be determined if the system is safe for patient use. It was apparent to me, based on the evidence, that Dr. Chee had no interest in fairly evaluating the Implant, but was rather only concerned with how he could do damage to Dr. Lazarof and the Sargon Implant System because of his great dislike for Dr. Lazarof."
Thank you for your careful consideration.
Sargon Lazarof, D.D.S.