This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 06/14/2022 at 07:37:13 (UTC).

ALLIANCE OPHTHALMOLOGY, PLLC et al v. ECL GROUP, LLC

Case Summary

On April 15, 2022, Alliance Ophthalmology, PLLC, Dallas Retina Center, PLLC, and Texas Eye and Cataract, PLLC (“Plaintiffs”), individually and on behalf a class of those similarly situated, represented by Thomas R. Ferguson, III of Womble Bond Dickinson (US), LLP, filed a class action contract lawsuit against ECL Group, LLC (“Defendant”), seeking specific performance, along with prejudgment and post-judgment interest for the alleged breach of contract. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of North Carolina.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs stated, “It is essential to physicians’ practices to know the medical and diagnostic history of every patient the physician treats, not to mention the patient’s test results, scans, and other key data critical to the delivery of efficient patient care. However, because physicians are rightly focused on delivering such treatment and care, they often rely on external vendors to provide these record-keeping and related practice management support services.”

The complaint went on to say, “Plaintiffs, like thousands of other practices, contracted with Defendant ECL, who advertises and offers such services to assist physicians, such as billing, patient record keeping, and associated practice management support. Plaintiffs relied on ECL to keep their patient records and data and to bill for patient visits, among other administrative tasks.”

The plaintiffs alleged, “ECL suffered an outage as a result of a ransomware attack—a fact it concealed from its clients for weeks. Instead of working diligently to restore service, keeping its clients apprised of such efforts, and mitigating any damages, ECL did the opposite  . . ECL misrepresented to its clients what truly happened, continually promised service would be restored when it was not (to encourage physicians not to move to new service providers), and invoiced its clients for services that were never provided.”

The plaintiffs  also alleged, “Many of those services remain unavailable months after the outage first occurred. When Plaintiffs expressed to ECL the crippling effect the outage had on their practices and the damages consequently incurred—and that Plaintiffs continue to incur—they were met with silence or misrepresentations. To make matters worse, Plaintiffs continued to endure service outages and were met with further misrepresentations by ECL.”

The plaintiffs also alleged that “the attack was by a former ECL employee. After this employee stopped working for ECL, ECL failed to prohibit the employee from accessing ECL’s systems. Thus, ECL’s own former employee accessed its systems and wreaked havoc using the employee’s prior credentials. This was not a sophisticated cyberattack; it was gross negligence . . . By failing to maintain the security of Plaintiffs’ data and access and functionality of the EMR software, as outlined herein, ECL breached the contracts.”

There are six claims of relief presented by the plaintiffs. The first, second, third and fourth claims the plaintiff brought are for alleged breach of contract. The fifth claim is for alleged fraud, and the sixth claim is for alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices.

In the prayer for relief, the plaintiffs requested specific performance and damages in an amount of at least $75,000, trebled, and prejudgment and post-judgment interest, as well as reasonable costs of attorneys’ fees, costs of the action, and any other relief the court deems just and proper.

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:22-CV-00296

  • Filing Date:

    04/15/2022

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

LORETTA C. BIGGS

Referral Judge

JOE L. WEBSTER

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

ALLIANCE OPHTHALMOLOGY, PLLC

DALLAS RETINA CENTER, PLLC

TEXAS EYE AND CATARACT, PLLC

Defendant

ECL GROUP, LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

PATRICK G. SPAUGH

Attorney at WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON (US) LLP

One West Fourth Street

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

THOMAS R. FERGUSON, III

Attorney at WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON (US), LLP

One Wells Fargo Ctr., Ste. 3500, 301 S. College St.

Charlotte, NC 28202-6025

Defendant Attorney

AARON Z. TOBIN

Attorney at CONDON TOBIN SLADEK THORNTON, PLLC

8080 Park Lane, Suite 700

Dallas, TX 75231

 

Court Documents

#1

(#1) COMPLAINT (Class Action) against ECL Group, LLC ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number ANCMDC-3278732.), filed by Alliance Ophthalmology PLLC, Texas Eye and Cataract, PLLC, Dallas Retina Center, PLLC.(FERGUSON, THOMAS) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

#2

(#2) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Plaintiff ALLIANCE OPHTHALMOLOGY, PLLC. (FERGUSON, THOMAS) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

#3

(#3) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Plaintiff Dallas Retina Center, PLLC. (FERGUSON, THOMAS) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

#4

(#4) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Plaintiff TEXAS EYE AND CATARACT, PLLC. (FERGUSON, THOMAS) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

#5

(#5) Summons Issued as to ECL GROUP, LLC. (Carter, Alexus) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

6 #6

Main Document

6 #1

Consent Form

7 #7

Main Document

7 #1

Exhibit A (Executed Return of Service)

#8

(#8) NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney PATRICK G. SPAUGH on behalf of Plaintiffs ALLIANCE OPHTHALMOLOGY, PLLC, DALLAS RETINA CENTER, PLLC, TEXAS EYE AND CATARACT, PLLC (SPAUGH, PATRICK) (Entered: 04/21/2022)

9 #9

Main Document

9 #1

Text of Proposed Order

#10

(#10) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Defendants ECL GROUP, LLC, ECL Holdings, LLC identifying Corporate Parent ECL Holdings, LLC for ECL GROUP, LLC.. (TOBIN, AARON) (Entered: 05/05/2022)

#11

(#11) MOTION to Dismiss (Partial) by ECL GROUP, LLC. Response to Motion due by 6/29/2022 (TOBIN, AARON) (Entered: 06/08/2022)

#12

(#12) BRIEF re #11 MOTION to Dismiss (Partial) . (TOBIN, AARON) (Entered: 06/08/2022)

5 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 06/10/2022
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  • DocketMotion Referred: RE: #13 MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer , to MAG/JUDGE JOE L. WEBSTER. (Blay, Debbie) (Entered: 06/10/2022)

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  • 06/10/2022
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  • DocketEmail to/from Plaintiffs' counsel Patrick Spaugh on 6/10/2022 advising the Clerk's Office that they have no objection to #13 Defendants Alternative Motion for Extension of Time to File an Answer to Plaintiffs Class Action Complaint. (Blay, Debbie) (Entered: 06/10/2022)

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  • 06/08/2022
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  • Docket(#13) MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by ECL GROUP, LLC. (Attachments: #1 Text of Proposed Order)(TOBIN, AARON) (Entered: 06/08/2022)

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  • 06/08/2022
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  • Docket(#12) BRIEF re #11 MOTION to Dismiss (Partial) . (TOBIN, AARON) (Entered: 06/08/2022)

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  • 06/08/2022
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  • Docket(#11) MOTION to Dismiss (Partial) by ECL GROUP, LLC. Response to Motion due by 6/29/2022 (TOBIN, AARON) (Entered: 06/08/2022)

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  • 05/09/2022
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  • DocketORDER granting #9 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer for ECL GROUP, LLC to 6/8/2022. Answer due by 6/8/2022. Signed by John Brubaker, Clerk of Court, on 5/9/2022. (Brubaker, John) (Entered: 05/09/2022)

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  • 05/05/2022
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  • Docket(#10) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Defendants ECL GROUP, LLC, ECL Holdings, LLC identifying Corporate Parent ECL Holdings, LLC for ECL GROUP, LLC.. (TOBIN, AARON) (Entered: 05/05/2022)

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  • 05/05/2022
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  • Docket(#9) MOTION for Extension of Time to File a Response to Plaintiffs' Class Action Complaint by ECL GROUP, LLC. (Attachments: #1 Text of Proposed Order)(TOBIN, AARON) Modified on 5/9/2022 to correct docket event type. (Brubaker, John). (Entered: 05/05/2022)

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  • 04/21/2022
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  • Docket(#8) NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by attorney PATRICK G. SPAUGH on behalf of Plaintiffs ALLIANCE OPHTHALMOLOGY, PLLC, DALLAS RETINA CENTER, PLLC, TEXAS EYE AND CATARACT, PLLC (SPAUGH, PATRICK) (Entered: 04/21/2022)

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  • 04/19/2022
  • DocketCase ASSIGNED to JUDGE LORETTA C. BIGGS and MAG/JUDGE JOE L. WEBSTER. (Carter, Alexus) (Entered: 04/19/2022)

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  • 04/18/2022
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  • Docket(#7) AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE as to ECL GROUP, LLC served on 4/18/2022, answer due 5/9/2022. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A (Executed Return of Service))(FERGUSON, THOMAS) (Entered: 04/18/2022)

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  • 04/15/2022
  • DocketCASE REFERRED to Mediation pursuant to Local Rule 83.9b of the Rules of Practice and Procedure of this Court. Please go to our website under Attorney Information for a list of mediators which must be served on all parties. (Carter, Alexus) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

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  • 04/15/2022
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  • Docket(#6) Notice of Right to Consent. Counsel shall serve the attached form on all parties. (Attachments: #1 Consent Form) (Carter, Alexus) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

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  • 04/15/2022
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  • Docket(#5) Summons Issued as to ECL GROUP, LLC. (Carter, Alexus) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

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  • 04/15/2022
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  • Docket(#4) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Plaintiff TEXAS EYE AND CATARACT, PLLC. (FERGUSON, THOMAS) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

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  • 04/15/2022
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  • Docket(#3) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Plaintiff Dallas Retina Center, PLLC. (FERGUSON, THOMAS) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

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  • 04/15/2022
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  • Docket(#2) Corporate Disclosure Statement by Plaintiff ALLIANCE OPHTHALMOLOGY, PLLC. (FERGUSON, THOMAS) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

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  • 04/15/2022
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT (Class Action) against ECL Group, LLC ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number ANCMDC-3278732.), filed by Alliance Ophthalmology PLLC, Texas Eye and Cataract, PLLC, Dallas Retina Center, PLLC.(FERGUSON, THOMAS) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
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