Erwin Cruz, MD, a Dallas County neurologist, has been awarded a $10.66 million verdict after jurors determined he had been defrauded by business partners from two North Texas diagnostic medical imaging centers.
Included in the verdict was $2.89 million in actual damages and an additional $7.77 million in exemplary damages added after jurors found Cruz’s business partners, Mehrdad Ghani and Michael Taba, MD, acted in ways that were “malicious, grossly negligent or fraudulent,” according to the Law Offices of Frank L. Branson, who represented Cruz.
"The jury found that our client trusted these men to uphold their fiduciary duties and look out for his best interests as a partner and that these duties had been breached," said Branson in a release.
According to court testimony, Ghani and Taba conspired to take away Cruz’s interests in Plano AMI, one of the medical imaging centers in question. Ghani and Taba also opened a competing imaging center without obtaining consent from Cruz or other Plano AMI partners, which the jury found was a violation of fiduciary duties. It also was found that Ghani misled Cruz concerning the financial condition of the business and provided undisclosed compensation to himself, his wife and Taba.