CTRS hits dead end in service case

June 5, 1991

The California Supreme Court rejected a petition to review thecase of CT Repair Service (CTRS) and its owner Fred Jackson lastmonth, according to Jackson's lawyer, Richard A. Seltzer. CTRShas no further options to appeal this case. Jackson saw a

The California Supreme Court rejected a petition to review thecase of CT Repair Service (CTRS) and its owner Fred Jackson lastmonth, according to Jackson's lawyer, Richard A. Seltzer. CTRShas no further options to appeal this case.

Jackson saw a verdict against GE Medical Systems turned aroundin the California Court of Appeals earlier this year. The scannerservice executive alleged that GE had interfered with CTRS's businessat five California hospitals in 1983 for its own economic advantage.

CTRS originally won a jury trial in Los Angeles, but a three-judgeappellate court overturned that verdict. The appellate court declaredGE innocent and ordered Jackson to pay legal costs on appeal.Jackson was denied his request for a retrial in a lower court(SCAN 5/8/91).

The case involved charges by CTRS that GE withheld supply ofreplacement tubes for its 9800 computed tomography scanners incompetition for service revenues.

According to the Court of Appeals verdict, the ISO failed toprove all five elements of the "tort of intentional interferencewith prospective economic advantage." These elements requirethat:

  • there is an economic relationship between the plaintiff(CTRS) and a third person (the hospital) that involves probableeconomic benefit for the plaintiff;

  • the defendant (GE) knows that this relationship exists;

  • the defendant takes intentional action to disrupt thisrelationship;

  • there is a disruption of this relationship; and

  • the acts of the defendant "proximately caused"damages to the plaintiff.

CTRS needed to prove all of these elements in the case of anyone of the five hospitals involved in the suit. The ISO provedthe first four elements for only one hospital, Cedars-Sinai MedicalCenter. CTRS failed to make a convincing case, however, that GE'sactions relative to Cedars-Sinai caused it damages, the courtsaid.

"Plaintiff presented no evidence of the profit, if any,which it realized from its 1984-1985 maintenance and repair contractwith Cedars, much less evidence from which it could be determinedwhether plaintiff would have derived a profit from the renewalof that contract," the verdict read. "There was no substantialevidence that plaintiff suffered any measurable damage in theform of lost profits as a proximate result of defendant's acts."