Citing irreparable harm, a Houston judge recently sealed a breach of contract suit against AkinMears – a suit exposing questionable business dealings allegedly committed by firm.
As previously reported, Amir Shenaq filed suit against AkinMears partners Truett Akin IV and Michelle Mears on Sept. 29 in Harris County District Court.
Shenaq, the firm’s former chief business development officer, contends AkinMears fired him to avoid paying him several millions of dollars for 14,000 medical mesh lawsuits he acquired for the firm.
On Oct. 1, only two days after the suit was filed, AkinMears moved to have the petition sealed, court records show.
“Rather than simply alleging facts sufficient to meet the notice pleading standard, Shenaq’s original petition discloses … trade secret information about AkinMears, its business partners and clients,” the suit states.
“By doing so, Shenaq has breached an enforceable confidentiality agreement. This disclosure was certainly no accident and serves no purpose other than to financially harm AkinMears and those with whom it does business.”
Court records show Shenaq disclosed:
• The source of AkinMears’ financing, Virage Capital Management and Gerchen Keller Capital;
• The amounts of financing obtained, around $93 million from GKC;
• Settlement values of cases;
• Borrowing costs;
• Actual and potential fees received;
• Commissions paid; and
•Confidential deal terms related to the purchase of a transvaginal mesh docket, which, according to the petition, boasted around 14,000 cases potentially worth up to $200 million.
In its motion, AkinMears argues Shenaq’s disclosure would enable competitors to copy its business model, which includes spending large sums of money on thousands of television advertisements to drum up as many faceless clients as possible, according to the petition.
Court records show Judge Randy Wilson, 157th Judicial District, signed of an agreed temporary sealing order on Oct. 7, which states both parties consented to the sealing order pursuant to Rule 76A of the Texas Civil Code.
The rule states that a document may be sealed if the substantial interest clearly outweighs presumption of openness and any probable adverse effect that sealing will have upon the general public health or safety.
Judge Wilson has not returned request for comment on his decision to seal the petition.
A Nov. 6 hearing on a more permanent sealing has been slated for Nov. 6.
Shenaq is suing for actual, general and special damages, plus attorney’s fees.
He is represented by Kenneth Wall, attorney for the Houston law firm Oaks, Hartline & Daly.
AkinMears is represented by Allan Neighbors, attorney for the Houston law firm Littler Mendelson.
Case No. 2015-57942