$7.8 million verdict in stem cell clinics case against Neil Riordan

Those who follow the stem cell field might be familiar with stem cell clinic operator Neil Riordan.

According to a recent press release and some news reports, Riordan just had some bad news in court related to a stem cell clinic in the U.S.

Riordan Medical Institute or RMI logo
Riordan-McKenna Institute and Riordan Medical Institute logos found on the web. Both go by “RMI”. Notice any similarities?

Stem cell clinic lawsuit

As background, why do those running stem cell clinics keep offering unproven stem cells?

In my opinion, most often it really boils down to making money. Some clinic leaders do want to help patients too, but most I’ve encountered aren’t very focused on that side of things.

It can be hard to get insights into how much money these clinics are raking in, but occasionally a court case will reinforce that this is a big money industry. In today’s post we are discussing a court verdict by a stem cell clinic doctor against Riordan. It’s interesting in some ways.

This verdict against Neil Riordan in a clinic case

A press release by the attorneys for the plaintiff again Riordan has the details on this stem cell clinic verdict. It almost but not quite goes without saying that a press release by the winning attorneys (Boyd Powers Williamson) is going to present a one-sided view of things, but even so this sounds like quite a loss for Neil Riordan. From the PR:

“A jury has awarded a $7.8 million verdict to a North Texas physician and stem-cell treatment innovator after finding that his business partner locked him out of the clinic they jointly owned and siphoned off assets to a competing clinic set up at the same location.”

The verdict included $5 million in punitive damages.

Becker’s Spine Review also covered the verdict, perhaps in part based on the PR.

Riordan is well known for running a stem cell clinic in Panama called The Stem Cell Institute. That clinic markets different kinds of stem cells for many conditions, but I’m most familiar with their “stem cells for autism” offerings.

However, Riordan has also been active in the U.S. with at least one stem cell clinic. This Texas firm, called Riordan-McKenna Institute, or RMI, has operated for a number of years. The legal dispute is centered on this clinic.

RMI vs. RMI?

The victorious attorneys claim that Riordan set up a parallel clinic that competed with Riordan-McKenna Institute:

“Jurors found that defendant Neil Riordan conspired to lock Dr. Wade McKenna out of his ownership stake in the Riordan-McKenna Institute, or RMI, in Southlake, Texas in 2018. Trial lawyers from Boyd, Powers & Williamson presented evidence that Dr. Riordan schemed to transfer RMI’s assets to another company that he owned. Dr. Riordan continued to operate the clinic at the same location using the RMI initials but doing business as the “Riordan Medical Institute,” removing Dr. McKenna’s name.”

When I searched the web for “Riordan-McKenna Institute” the first hit is oddly enough something called RMI Clinic, but it wasn’t the Riordan-McKenna Institute.

It’s the Riordan Medical Institute  instead. Note that Riordan is not a physician but his RMI does have an MD on staff per the website.

I found nearly identical RMI logos for both the Riordan-McKenna Institute and the Medical Institute Clinic on the web too (see composite above).

Of course, I don’t know the details of Riordan and McKenna’s financial arrangements in general or related to stem cell clinics, but this press release itself is quite interesting and provides some new insights. I wonder if we’ll see more clinic operators suing each other? That might parallel an increasing number of lawsuits by clinic customers against clinics too.

The PR notes: “The case is R. Wade McKenna, D.O. v. Neil Riordan, Ph.D., Individually and d/b/a Riordan Medical Institute et al., Case No. 348-300858-18 in Tarrant County District Court.”

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