As I said in a previous post about Millennium Laboratories (ML), there is another lawsuit pending against ML. This one was filed by Ameritox, LTD and it alleges that ML provided improper inducements to physicians to use ML over other competitors like Ameritox. Both Ameritox and ML engage in laboratory monitoring of urine drug levels in patients on potentially abused medications for chronic pain.
Ameritox claims that ML sent a letter to patients stating that they (the patient) would not be responsible for any out of pocket costs for drug testing beyond what their insurance carrier or Medicare paid for if they used ML. As Medicare patients are not responsible for deductibles or co-pay for clinical lab services at all, Ameritox said this letter was misleading, and represented an example of false advertising and common law unfair competition.
In a somewhat contradictory decision, the United States District Court in Tampa, FL, decided that the letter was indeed misleading, but that Ameritox had not successfully proven that the misleading letter was likely to deceive potential customers. To me, if something is misleading, by definition it is likely to deceive, but that it not what the court decided.
The court dismissed the allegations of false advertising and common law unfair competition, but it gave Ameritox the ability to amend its complaint and come back later for more. So, it sounds as though the court thinks Ameritox has a case, but simply failed to argue it properly, so it gave Ameritox another chance. We all have to jump through hoops, I guess.
In other news, Ameritox filed another lawsuit against Millennium Laboratories. This one alleges trademark infringement. We’ll have to see how that one turns out.