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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Global Health Triumph: AMC Lawsuit Dismissed

In a major triumph for Moscow's U.S. Global Health, a United States judge dismissed the only remaining part of a lawsuit filed by its chief Moscow rival, the American Medical Center.


"We feel tremendously elated by this," said Global Health's general manager James Gerwin on Friday. "We felt from the very beginning there was no basis for this."


Before Thursday's ruling in a North Carolina state court, Global Health began in mid-February to solicit some of the 177 AMC clients to whom it was earlier forbidden access by a court injunction. At the time AMC lawyers contended that Global Health's wooing of AMC clients violated the injunction, but the dismissal now gives Global Health free rein, both sides agreed Friday.


Acting on a motion by Global Health's lawyers Thursday, Judge D. Marsh McLelland dismissed an AMC lawsuit accusing Global Health of violating a federal racketeering statute by unlawfully obtaining trade secrets in an effort to poach AMC's Moscow clients. In January, Judge McLelland dismissed the original AMC lawsuit, which had been filed last summer.


AMC lawyers played down the significance of McLelland's dismissal and said they planned to immediately appeal his decision.


"This is hardly a vindication of Pepsi's conduct," said AMC lawyer Garett Rasmussen, referring to Pepsico, the soft drink giant which owns part of Global Health. "There is no doubt that this judge is not impressed with our case."


In a telephone interview from Washington on Friday, Rasmussen said he was optimistic that the North Carolina State Court of Appeals would overturn Judge McLelland's dismissal because McLelland's decisions had been based on procedural grounds.


Judge McLelland dismissed both cases because he agreed with Global Health lawyers' contention that AMC could not sue in a United States court until it had taken the issue before a Russian legal body.


Rasmussen said AMC lawyers would seek to restore the injunction by first asking Judge McLelland to leave the injunction in place pending appeal, and if that fails, to ask the appellate court to do so.


A decision on the issue is likely by next week, Rasmussen said, and will provide an indication of the strength of AMC's appeal.