United States District Court, D. Maryland
RX TRIALS, LLC, Successor-In-Interest to Rx TRIALS, INC., Plaintiff,
COASTAL BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH, INC., ET AL. Defendants.
Mark Coulson United States Magistrate Judge
case is before me for all proceedings by the consent of the
parties pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (ECF Nos. 15
& 16). Now pending is Plaintiff's (“Rx
Trials'”) Motion for Summary Judgment on all
counts, against Coastal Biomedical Research, Inc.
(“Coastal”) and Linda A. Glaser, M.D.,
(collectively, the “Defendants”). (ECF No. 27).
No. response in opposition was filed and no hearing is
needed. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the
reasons stated below, the unopposed motion is
Trials is a limited liability company, organized under
Maryland law, that specializes in clinical research trial
efficiency and consulting. (ECF No. 3 at ¶ 2). Coastal
is a corporation, organized under California law, that
conducts clinical research trials and is owned and operated
by Dr. Glaser. (Id. at ¶¶ 3, 66-68). On
June 15, 2013, Rx Trials and Coastal entered into a Partner
Site Agreement for consulting services and site management
research. (ECF No. 27-1). Per the agreement, Coastal would
utilize Rx Trial's clinical trial management software
(the “Software”). (Id. at 20). Not only
would the Software help with site management, but it would
permit Rx Trials to keep track of the trials for billing
purposes. In exchange for Rx Trial's services and
Software, Coastal agreed to compensate Rx Trials by payment
of a percentage of each month's revenue based on a tiered
payment schedule outlined within the Agreement. (Id.
at 22). The parties agreed that all clinical trials would
utilize Rx Trial's services and software, and thus all
trials were subject to the pricing schedule. (Id.).
Furthermore, Coastal was to send Rx Trials all payments made
to Coastal by trial sponsors and supply records of payment
each month. (Id.). Once all the information on
revenue was gathered, Rx Trials would issue an invoice to
Coastal which would be due within thirty (30) days of
undisputed that Coastal ignored these obligations and
breached the Agreement. Dr. Steven Geller, the managing
member of Rx Trials, provides an affidavit in which he
affirms that Coastal and Dr. Glaser stopped utilizing the
Software, ceased updating Rx Trials as to what clinical
trials Coastal was performing, and instructed trial sponsors
to compensate Coastal in a manner that Rx Trials could not
monitor. (Id. at 29). During this time Coastal
conducted clinical trials that generated over $1.1 million in
revenue. (Id.). The majority of this revenue,
however, was never reported to Rx Trials as required by the
Trials discovered Coastal's conduct it served a formal
notice of default. Coastal never responded. Accordingly, Rx
Trials filed this suit on July 26, 2018 alleging four counts:
Count 1 - Breach of Contract against Coastal; Count II -
Intentional Concealment against Dr. Glaser; Count III -
Negligence against Coastal; and Count VI - Violation of the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(“RICO”). (ECF No. 3). Plaintiff seeks actual
damages under the Agreement of $209, 060.30; treble damages
under RICO of $627, 180.90; and attorneys' fees and
costs. Despite this Court having already entered default
judgment of all counts against Coastal (Counts I and III),
Plaintiff now asks that this Court enter summary judgement on
all counts against both Defendants on the merits. (ECF No.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) requires the Court to
“grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The moving
party can do so by demonstrating the absence of any genuine
dispute of material fact or by showing an absence of evidence
to support the non-moving party's case. Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-25 (1986). A dispute as to
a material fact “is genuine if the evidence is such
that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party.” J.E. Dunn Const. Co. v. S.R.P.
Dev. Ltd. P'ship, 115 F.Supp.3d 593, 600 (D. Md.
2015) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986)).
motion for summary judgment goes unopposed, the Court must
still view the facts and draw reasonable inferences in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party.; Iko v.
Shreve, 535 F.3d 225, 230 (4th Cir. 2008); Custer v.
Pan Am. Life Ins. Co., 12 F.3d 410, 416 (4th Cir. 1993).
Moreover, the movant still must show that the uncontroverted
facts entitle the party to judgment as a matter of law.
Custer, 12 F.3d at 416.
initial matter, the Court will decline Plaintiff's
invitation to rule on Counts I and III again. Although the
Fourth Circuit has a “strong policy that cases be
decided on their merits, ” it is not absolute.
United States v. Shaffer Equip. Co., 11 F.3d 450,
453 (4th Cir.1993). This Court's June 10, 2019 Order
entered default judgment in favor of Plaintiff on all counts
against Coastal. (ECF No. 24). Besides a vague desire that
the counts be decided “on the merits[, ]”
Plaintiff offers no reason for why the already issued default
judgment is insufficient. Not only had the adversarial
process been halted by Coastal's unresponsiveness, but
Coastal failed to appoint Counsel after notice and in
violation of the Local Rules. (ECF No. 23). These grounds for
default remain unchallenged and unchanged. Absent a motion to
set aside the judgement, there is no need to revisit what has
already been done. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment on Counts I and III against Coastal, (ECF
No. 27), is DENIED as moot.
leaves Plaintiff's counts against Dr. Glaser for
intentional concealment and civil RICO violations.
argues that Dr. Glaser's conduct amounts to intentional
concealment because she, as an agent of Coastal, did not make
the disclosures as required by the Agreement, did so to
purposefully defraud, and ...