Defense verdict in breach of contract claim involving sale of dental practice. San Francisco County.


Plaintiff claims breach of contract after buying defendant's periodontal practice. Jury finds for defense.

The Case

  • Case Name: Doina Panaite, DDS v. George K. Merijohn, DDS, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: San Francisco County Superior Court / CGC-10-502257
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, August 03, 2010
  • Type of Action: Breach of Contract, Breach of Warranty, Fraud, Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Suzanne Bolanos
  • Plaintiffs:
    Doina Panaite, DDS
  • Defendants:
    George K. Merijohn, DDS; George K. Merijohn, DDS, P.C.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Verdict in favor of Defendant.
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    Defendant is awarded all attorney's fees and costs incurred as a result of this lawsuit. Defendants awarded $385,754.25 in attorney's fees and $71,411.89 in costs pursuant to CCP 998.

  • Economic Damages:

    Plaintiff claimed economic damages in excess of $1 million.

  • Punitive Damages:

    Jury found no basis for punitive damages.

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 14 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Motion for Attorneys' Fees Motion to Tax Costs Ex-Parte Motion re: Bond Motion for New Trial

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    O'Connor & Associates by John O'Connor, San Francisco.
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    The Goldman Law Firm by Ronald P. Goldman and Jennifer M. Ellis, Tiburon.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff's Technical Experts:
    Gary Schaub, dental practice broker, Portland, OR.
  • Defendant's Technical Experts:
    Tim Giroux, dental practice broker, Yuba City.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    This case arose out of the alleged breach of contract and fraud against defendant in sale of a periodontal practice. Plaintiff alleged that defendant misrepresented the value of the practice and failed to disclose material problems with the practice.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant falsely represented his practice to her. That defendant "hyped" up his practice and defrauded her by making plaintiff think the practice was more profitable then it actually was. That defendant "made the material promises in the Contract without the present intent of performing them." That defendant interfered with plaintiff's practice and patients.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant denied all of plaintiff's contentions and contended that the practice sale was very successful in that plaintiff was producing millions in income, placing her practice in the top 3% of the country.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Breach of contract, fraud and deceit. Plaintiff asked for general, special, and punitive damages.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: Over $300,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: Hundreds of Thousands

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: Over $1,000,000
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: Waiver of costs.


This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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