Defense verdict after two-week jury trial over ownership interests in “Accountable Care” medical business. (AccountableCare Service Org. v. NACO)

Accountablecare Service Organization v. NACO, Dr. Andre Berger, and Dr. Alex Foxman: This was a two-week jury trial over ownership of an “Accountable Care” medical business under the federal Accountable Care Act. Mr. Baute and Mr. Crochetiere were defense counsel. The plaintiffs claimed damages of millions of dollars, contending that a series of email exchanges documented a 25% ownership stake in the defendants’ business entity, which created a fiduciary obligation among co-owners of the business. The most problematic document in the trial was an email written by both defendants, appearing to confirm that it was “correct” that the plaintiff owned 25% of the company called “NACO.” The defense involved, among other things, convincing the jury that an email confirming a 25% ownership stake in the name of the plaintiff was just an interim statement of unresolved negotiations, and that the 25% ownership interest was never finally consummated. A jury of twelve voted unanimously in favor of all three defendants after only 75 minutes of deliberation.