Dean Slavkin’s email to Faculty

Dean Slavkin’s email to Faculty

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

I have good news to relate regarding the Sargon trial. As you all know, in 1999, Sargon Enterprises ("Sargon") brought claims, including for breach of contract, against USC, alleging that it suffered damages resulting from a botched research study on the Sargon Dental Implant. The case proceeded to trial in 2003, and Sargon was awarded $433,000 in damages, although the court precluded it from presenting evidence on any alleged lost profits. Sargon appealed, and in 2005, the Court of Appeal ruled that Sargon could proceed with a lost profits claim and could also bring additional tort claims against the university and two faculty members. The university successfully won dismissal of all the tort claims in 2006 and 2007, leaving only the lost profits claim intact. As we have repeatedly discussed, Sargon has been seeking in excess of $1.1 billion in lost profits.

Shortly before the scheduled trial on July 9, 2007, we moved to exclude Sargon's lost profits expert, and after a two week bench trial on this issue, the court granted our motion. With no expert to opine on lost profits at the upcoming trial, Sargon consented to a judgment against it rather than proceed with a trial. This resulted in a complete victory for USC on the lost profits claim while also allowing USC to avoid the cost and risk of a lengthy trial. Although Sargon has stated its intention to appeal the court's rulings, for now a final judgment has been issued in this case on the tort claims and lost profits damages, all in USC's favor. We will keep you apprised of any further developments.

Hal Slavkin


Lazarof’s Reply to Slavkin

Dear friends of USC,

November 27, 2007

Recently, Dean Slavkin sent out an email that indicated “a final judgment has been issued in this case on the tort claims and lost profits damages, all in USC's favor.” This can not be further from the truth. I am attaching a copy of the stipulated judgment that has been entered in this case in favor of Sargon .

Prior to making such a premature celebration, Dean Slavkin should remember that the previous court had made a similar attempt to exclude Sargon’s lost profits and fraud claims and the court of appeal reversed the lower court and gave specific instructions on remand to retry the case based on Sargon’s lost profits and fraud charges which claimed USC had taken a bribe from Nobel Biocare to burry the results of the Sargon study and after filing of this lawsuit, it altered the patient records to show negative results. The Court of Appeal also pronounced Sargon the prevailing party and ordered USC to pay all Sargon's costs and attorney fees .

It is true that on remand Judge Terry Green an avid USC alumni that decorates his chambers with USC paraphernalia and gives juror badges that bare the USC colors and makes yearly financial contributions to USC, has made a valiant effort to save USC from the inevitable and single handedly has tried to reverse the court of appeal's rulings. He took out the fraud evidence based on summery adjudication and also prevented the lost profits from getting to the jury by making an unprecedented ruling that did not allow Sargon's damage experts to testify. Sargon’s experts consisted of an economist with a CPA and law degree with 25 years of experience in his business and a second expert who was the president of Zimmer dental for 12 years which is one of the biggest implant companies in the world. Sargon does not believe for a second that these rulings would stand in the higher Courts and are highly prejudicial. This is why Sargon in order to save time entered a stipulated judgment and is taking this matter to the higher court. This stipulated judgment clearly demonstrates the status of this pending litigation.

Does Dean Slavkin really think that if we believed such ruling would stand we would have rejected a recent 8 million dollar settlement offer by USC .

It is quite amazing that While Dean Slavkin concedes that a unanimous jury verdict has already determined that USC has botched a scientific study, he is celebrating that USC has temporarily been spared the payment of Sargon’s lost profits and punitive damages by a “USC Judge”. Being familiar with Dean Slavkin’s background as a researcher, I would have thought he would be more concerned with “botching of a scientific study that by USC’s own account could have “Revolutionized Dentistry”. I would have thought that he would be concerned with millions of patients that have to undergo multiple surgeries while a technique that was proven and reported on by USC could prevent them from doing so. I would have also thought that he would have been concerned with USC researchers, Drs. Hessam Nowzari and Winston Chee altering patient’s records to show negative results after filing of this lawsuit; this fact has been proven by Sargon’s Ink Dating expert and not refuted by USC, see . I guess my expectations were too high since I was one of the members of USC Board of Councilors that interviewed and voted for the appointment of Dean Slavkin.

While the amount of lost profit and punitive damages are under pending litigation, it can not be disputed that USC has lost a unanimous jury verdict indicating that it breached a clinical contract. Sargon has been determined to be the prevailing party in this lawsuit and USC will be responsible for the payment of contract breaches and costs of litigation unless the lower court decides to overrule the court of appeal again and temporarily make USC the prevailing party.

A combination of an arrogant general counsel and a Dean that after seeing all the evidence of patient record alterations by Drs. Chee and Nowzari and breach of contract, the only thing that they have done is to cover up these shameful acts and push on defending a lawsuit that has resulted in 1.2 billion dollars in damages that USC will have to face in the near future.

Dean Slavkin should report that after the unanimous jury ruling he not only did not do anything to discipline them but actually promoted Dr. Chee. Leaving these people in charge certainly explains why during his tenure USC Dental School has declined in ranking to be the 3rd worse dental school in the nation with only 18% of the senior class graduating and passing the boards. I wonder if Dean Slavkin has reported this achievement to “friends of USC”.


Sargon Lazarof DDS

A proud USC alumnus