IES prepares new effort in Picker litigation

March 27, 1991

Imaging Equipment Services of Pittsburgh has changed law firmsin the hope of revitalizing its scanner service litigation againstPicker International. IES chose the same law firm that is handlingEtek's case against Picker (SCAN 1/30/91), according to Tom

Imaging Equipment Services of Pittsburgh has changed law firmsin the hope of revitalizing its scanner service litigation againstPicker International. IES chose the same law firm that is handlingEtek's case against Picker (SCAN 1/30/91), according to Tom Quinn,president of the independent service organization.

The Houston firm of Hornbuckle and Montgomery has agreed towork for IES on a contingency-fee basis, which should allow theISO to go the full ten rounds with the vendor, he said. Althoughdiscovery was closed in the Picker/IES case last July, IES hopesto reopen that phase of the litigation and force Picker to produceevidence it believes the vendor is withholding. The case is beingheard in Boston federal district court.

"They (Picker) are not producing documentation we knowexists. They made representations that they produced everythingthere is on imaging equipment service, and we know that is nottrue," Quinn told SCAN.

Picker would not comment on the ongoing litigation.

Picker initially sued IES in 1987 when the ISO hired a formerPicker service executive. That hiring violated a non-compete contract(SCAN 3/16/88), Picker claimed. The vendor sued again over IES'suse of Picker service documentation and software.

IES maintains that Picker licensed the ISO to use its diagnosticsoftware. Picker, however, does not recognize the licensing agreement.IES countersued two years ago on antitrust issues, including predatorypricing, sabotage and defamation, Quinn said.

IES alleges that Picker systematically gathers competitiveinformation on ISOs, including multiple Dunn and Bradstreet inquiries,which could harm a company's credit rating.

"Picker has a massive intelligence-gathering operationand they use it effectively," Quinn said.

One issue involved in the Etek service case is also part ofthe IES litigation. This is an allegation that Picker has manipulatedthe writing of equipment service bid requests by the militaryand Veterans Administration so that ISOs cannot compete for thebusiness.

IES brought its VA contract complaints to the office of Sen.H. John Heinz (R-PA), Quinn said. The senator has asked the GeneralAccounting Office to look into the allegations, according to RichardJ. Bryers, legislative director for Heinz.

The Inspector General of the VA is also looking into the servicecontract issue and may be close to issuing a report on the topic,Quinn said. The IG was not available for comment regarding suchan investigation.