After three long months in the courtroom, a trial in which a local company is suing General Electric (GE) for $12.8 million in lost profits went to a jury last week. Since May, Vitascan – a Santa Barbara-based mobile body scanning business – and GE Healthcare – who leased Vitascan the portable scanners – battled over why the company failed in 2003 after just two years of business. GE argues Vitascan owes them more than $4 million in unpaid lease payments for the scanners, while the plaintiffs’ attorney Peter Bezek says they contained a design flaw that destroyed the company. In closing arguments, GE attorney Dennis Ellis dramatically outlined a string of bad business decisions made by Vitascan owners James Gerlach and Dan Parker, claiming they cut corners and chose higher profits over good healthcare. Bezek countered that GE misled Vitascan, chose profit over integrity, and refused to take responsibility for the faulty scanners. It’s up to the jury to determine the fate of the millions of dollars on the line.
BAD SCANNERS OR BAD BUSINESS?:
Originally published 12:00 p.m., August 3, 2006
Updated 12:37 p.m., August 24, 2006
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