United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
SCOTT A. WILSON, Plaintiff,
UTC LABORATORIES, L.L.C., d/b/a RENAISSANCE RX; SYNTACTX LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WILLIAM E. SMITH, Chief Judge.
the Court are Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant
Syntactx, LLC (ECF No. 20) and Defendant UTC Laboratories,
L.L.C., d/b/a Renaissance RX (“Renaissance”) (ECF
No. 23). These motions were referred to Magistrate Judge
Lincoln D. Almond for report and recommendation pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Magistrate Judge Almond
recommends that the Court grant Defendant Syntactx LLC's
Motion for Summary Judgment. (R&R, ECF No. 50.) Plaintiff
was required to file any objection to that recommendation
within fourteen days. (Id. at 14 (citing DRI LR Cv
72).) Having heard no objection from Plaintiff, that portion
of Magistrate Judge Almond's recommendation (ECF No. 50)
is ACCEPTED, and Defendant Syntactx LLC's Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 20) is GRANTED. See United
States v. Valencia-Copete, 792 F.2d 4, 6 (1st Cir.
leaves Defendant Renaissance's Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 23). Magistrate Judge Almond recommends
that the Court grant Renaissance's Motion with respect to
Counts I, II, III, and V, but denied with respect to Count
IV. Once again, having heard no objection from Plaintiff,
Magistrate Judge Almond's recommendation is ACCEPTED, and
Defendant Renaissance's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF
No. 23) is GRANTED with respect to Counts I, II, III, and V.
However, because Defendant Renaissance objects to Magistrate
Judge Almond's recommendation that summary judgment be
denied with respect to Count IV (Renaissance Obj. to R&R,
ECF No. 53), the Court reviews that issue de novo.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
is a medical research company that was involved in a series
of clinical-research trials collectively known as the
“Diagnosing Adverse Drug Reactions”
(“DART”) study. (Compl. ¶¶ 26-29, ECF
No. 1-1.) Plaintiff Dr. Scott Wilson agreed to participate in
the DART study. However, Plaintiff claims that he agreed only
to act as a “Sub-Investigator” and specifically
rejected Renaissance's request that he act as a
“Regional Principal Investigator”
(“RPI”). (Id. ¶¶ 38-42,
58-60.) According to the Complaint, despite Plaintiff's
refusal to act as an RPI, Renaissance listed Plaintiff as an
RPI and held him out as responsible for the oversight of
various sites that were participating in the DART Study.
(Id. ¶¶ 58-60.) Under Count IV, Plaintiff
alleges that Renaissance, in holding Plaintiff out as an RPI,
misappropriated his name and credentials in violation of R.I.
Gen. Laws Ann. § 9-1-28.1(a)(2). (Id.
Objection to the Report and Recommendation, Renaissance
provides two arguments for why summary judgment should be
granted in its favor as to Count IV. Renaissance first argues
that Plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence of
damages. Problematically, however, Renaissance did not raise
this issue before Magistrate Judge Almond. (See
Renaissance's Mem. in Support of Mot. for Summ. J. 12-14,
ECF No. 23-1; Renaissance's Suppl. Mem. in Support of
Mot. for Summ. J. 7-8, ECF No. 49.) As was noted in the
Report and Recommendation, Renaissance's argument for
summary judgment on Count IV was based “solely on its
position that Plaintiff agreed or consented to act as an
RPI.” (R&R 12, ECF No. 50.) The issue of whether
Plaintiff has provided sufficient evidence as to damages is
therefore waived for the purposes of Renaissance's Motion
for Summary Judgment. See Curet-Velazquez v. ACEMLA de
Puerto Rico, Inc., 656 F.3d 47, 54 (1st Cir. 2011);
Borden v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs.,
836 F.2d 4, 6 (1st Cir. 1987).
remains of Renaissance's Objection is its assertion that
Plaintiff consented to act as an RPI. As evidence for this
claim, Renaissance asks that the Court focus its attention on
the “Investigator Site Questionnaire” provided by
Syntactx LLC. (See Syntactx LLC's Statement of
Material Facts not in Dispute (“Syntactx LLC's
SUMF”) Ex. A, Investigator Site Questionnaire
(“Questionnaire”), ECF No. 21-1.) According to
Renaissance, that document was “electronically
signed” by Plaintiff and provided Renaissance
permission to list Plaintiff as an RPI. (Renaissance's
Statement of Material Facts not in Dispute ¶ 5, ECF No.
however, the Questionnaire only has Plaintiff's typed
name (not a written signature), and Plaintiff claims to have
“no recollection of completion, review or return”
of the Questionnaire. (Pl.'s Statement of Disputed Facts
¶ 5, ECF No. 34.) Moreover, the Questionnaire is
directly contradicted by another piece of evidence - the
“Clinical Trial Agreement” -which specifically
labels Plaintiff as a “Principal Investigator, ”
not an RPI. (See Syntactx LLC's SUMF Ex. E,
Clinical Trial Agreement (“Agreement”), ECF No.
21-5.) That Agreement is dated January 31, 2014, just ten
days after Plaintiff allegedly “electronically
signed” the Questionnaire, and the Agreement, unlike
the Questionnaire, bears the written signatures of both
Plaintiff and Renaissance's Chief Operating Officer.
(See id. at 7.) Under these circumstances, the Court
agrees with Magistrate Judge Almond that “there is a
genuine issue of material fact as to whether or not
[Plaintiff] ever knowingly consented or agreed to
serve” as an RPI. (R&R 12, ECF No. 50.)
Magistrate Judge Almond's Report and Recommendation (ECF
No. 50) is ACCEPTED. Defendant Syntactx LLC's Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 20) is GRANTED, and Defendant
Renaissance's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 23) is
GRANTED with respect to Counts I, II, III, and V, but DENIED
with respect to Count IV.