United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
LYNN WINMILL U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
3, 2019, Endobiogenics, Inc. filed a Motion for Default
Judgment. Dkt. 11. On July 1, 2019, the Clerk issued an Entry
of Default. Since that time, Abi Chahine has failed to appear
and file a responsive pleading. Plaintiff renewed the motion
for default judgment on August 30, 2019. Dkt. 14. For the
following reasons, the Court will grant Plaintiff’s
first motion and vacate the second as moot.
is a healthcare approach whereby physicians use biological
information about their patients’ endocrine and
autonomic nervous systems to provide holistic solutions to
health problems. Dkt. 1 at 2-3. According to the Complaint, a
French doctor, Jean-Claude Lapraz, co-created the practice of
endobiogeny in the 1970s and 1980s with another doctor,
Christian Duraffourd. Id. at 2. In or around 1990,
Dr. Lapraz began conducting training seminars on endobiogeny
throughout the United States. Id. at 3. These
seminars were made possible through the support of a
Pocatello, Idaho pharmacist, Anne M. Buhler. Id.
2004 to 2007, Dr. Lapraz practiced herbal medicine in
Pocatello. Id. In addition to his own practice, Dr.
Lapraz created an online diagnostic tool to assist physicians
“in diagnosing and prescribing care using the
endobiogeny method.” Id. at 4. Dr.
Lapraz’s “EMA System” analyzes the
biological functions of a patient and returns a
“Biology of Functions” report that diagnoses the
patient –from an endobiogenic standpoint– and
provides a recommended course of treatment. Id.
According to the Complaint, the EMA System reports are
printed onto “Endobiogenics” letterhead
“to identify the source of the information and to
preserve the intellectual property of the data.”
who use the EMA System must enter into a written user
agreement with Endobiogenics. Id. In November 2012,
Abi Chahine entered into a user agreement with
Endobiogenics. Id. at 6. Among other things, the
agreement requires physician users to pay fees. Id.
at 5. The agreement also contains a provision stating that
“if payment is not received by the 7th of
the month the account will be cancelled on the 7th
day of the month.” Id. at 6.
to the Complaint, Defendant stopped making monthly payments
in July 2014. Id. Endobiogenics did not cut off
Defendant’s access to the EMA System, but did alert him
that he needed to bring his account current. Id. In
September 2015, Defendant paid all of his past due monthly
balances, with the exception of payment for one month.
Id. From that point forward to November 2017,
Defendant paid his monthly bill, but never paid for the one
month that was in arrears. Id.
October 2015, Endobiogenics updated its user agreement.
Id. Defendant never signed the updated user
agreement. Id. Beginning in November 2017, Defendant
again stopped paying his monthly user fees. Id. at
7. However, Defendant also continued to submit patient
biology data to the EMA System for analysis. Id.
Endobiogenics claims he submitted more patient biology
profiles than were allowed by the user agreement.
Id. Endobiogenics changed Defendant’s system
access level in November 2017. Id. By making the
change, Endobiogenics halted Defendant’s ability to
submit new patient biological profiles. Id. However,
Defendant retained the ability to download results of past
biology profile analyses. Id. In February 2018,
Endobiogenics terminated Defendant’s account access
to Endobiogenics, Defendant “hacked” into the EMA
System in February 2018 and continued to use it to produce
full biological patient profiles until around May 2018-a
duration of 3 or 4 months. Id. at 8. During that
time, Endobiogenics alleges Defendant ran more than 600 sets
of biological data through the EMA System. Id.
Defendant allegedly obtained access by using the login
credentials of another physician. Id.
this discovery, Endobiogenics contacted the physician whose
account had been compromised by Defendant’s use.
Id. Endobiogenics requested that the physician
change the login credentials. Id. When the login
credentials were changed, the data submissions ceased.
alleges further that Defendant did not obtain patient
consent, as required by the EMA System user agreement, to
submit patient biological data to the EMA System.
Id. at 9. Additionally, Endobiogenics asserts that
Defendant encouraged other physicians to use the system
without authorization, that he spread false statements about
Endobiogenics’s systems and goods, and interfered with
its business. Id.
allegations include the fact that, in September 2017,
Defendant sent an attorney-drafted letter to Endobiogenics
asserting that Endobiogenics terminated his subscription
because he did not immediately sign the new user
agreement. Id. at 9-10. Defendant claimed
the agreement contained “unacceptable clauses”
and by terminating his subscription for his failure to sign
the agreement, Endobiogenics put Defendant’s patients
at risk of harm. Id. In addition to sending the
letter to Endobiogenics, Defendant also sent it to 60 or so
other EMA System customers. Id. at 9. In response,
Endobiogenics asserts it did not terminate Defendant’s
access because of his refusal to sign the new user agreement
and thus Defendant knew the statements in September 2017
letter were false. Id.
January 2019, Defendant filed a complaint against Dr. Lapraz
with the Departmental Council of the City of Paris of the
Order of Doctors (the Paris Board of Medicine). Id.
at 10. The complaint makes allegations similar to those
detailed in the September 2017 letter. Specifically, the
complaint alleges that Endobiogenics abruptly cut
Defendant’s “access to EMA while [he] was in full
payment...directly harming [his] professional practice, and
denying [him] access to the medical data of most of [his]
cancer patients without giving [him] the opportunity to
retrieve this private data, ” and that doing so
“put the health of [his]patients at risk.”
Id. at 10-11. Endobiogenics asserts the complaint
was retaliatory and that the serious criminal accusations are
again based on facts Defendant knows to be false.
further claims that Defendant has engaged in unfair
competition by forming the Belgian Institute of Endobiogeny-
an endobiogeny educational institute that directly competes
with similar programs offered by Endobiogenics for
physician-users of its EMA System. Id. at 12.
Endobiogenics asserts Defendant’s institute spreads
false information about Endobiogenics, and has attempted also
to set up a system similar to the EMA System, and is
providing courses on Dr. Lapraz’s “Biology of
Functions” without proper attribution. Id.
on these facts, Endobiogenics’s Complaint asserts the
following five claims against Defendant: breach of contract;
breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair
dealing; defamation per se; intentional interference
with prospective economic advantage; and violation of the
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. § 1030).
Id. at 13-16.
filed its Complaint on March 22, 2019. Dkt. 1. The case was
originally assigned to United States Magistrate Judge Ronald
E. Bush. On July 3, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion for
default judgment. Dkt. 11. Because a motion for default
judgment is dispositive, the case was reassigned to United
States District Judge B. Lynn Winmill on July 29, 2019. Dkt.
13. See Williams v. King, 875 ...