Prominent South Florida Doctor and his Company Sued for Allegedly Defrauding his Customer Out of Nearly $200,000
The Business Trial Group (“BTG”) represents Riguang Equipment, LLC (“Riguang”) in a lawsuit alleging Radiation Shield Technologies, Inc. (“RST”) and Ronald Demeo, M.D., a prominent south Florida doctor and surgeon, breached a contract and defrauded Riguang out of nearly $200,000.
According to RST’s website, RST is a world leader in the research, design, and production of radiation protection systems. RST sells personal radiation protection systems made from the RST’s proprietary Demron fabric. Also, according to RST’s website, Dr. Demeo is a noted surgeon, scientist, entrepreneur, and inventor.
As alleged in the lawsuit, Riguang paid $200,000 to RST and Dr. Demeo in 2013 for 1,200 yards of Demron fabric, yet RST and Dr. Demeo never sent the fabric. Despite repeatedly and affirmatively representing that the fabric would be sent, RST and Dr. Demeo kept the money and never sent the fabric. After RST and Dr. Demeo ignored communications from Riguang, BTG attorney Aaron C. Garnett filed a lawsuit against RST and Dr. Demeo.
Time and again, BTG attorneys see one party to a contract approaching the agreement as if it does not exist or can be negotiated after the fact. This is often a calculated move based on the premise that it costs more for the short-changed party to sue than to just take the loss. But thanks to the BTG’s contingency-fee model, small businesses can pursue the full amount they are owed, without worrying about out-of-control attorney fees and costs.
Lawsuit: Product Never Delivered, Despite Repeated Assurances
Defendant RST explains on its website that Demron is a polymer fabric that “has radiation protection similar to lead shielding, while being lightweight and flexible.” Demron fabric is used to make radiation protection suits, first responder hazmat suits, and tactical vests. RST’s Demron suits made headlines when they were used in Japan during the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
RST’s founder and CEO, Dr. Ronald DeMeo, is named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. Dr. DeMeo invented Demron while working as a physician in the 1990s. He is also associated with Meridian Spinal Therapeutics of Coral Gables, Florida.
Riguang placed an order with RST for 1,200 yards of Demron-W Fabric for a total cost of $200,000. As the complaint details, between December 19, 2013 and December 30, 2013, Riguang made payments in full to RST for the order.
The first—and only—product shipment of 150 yards was made to Riguang in December 2016. After that, the Complaint alleges, RST and Dr. Demeo repeatedly promised to make further product shipments, but at the time of the lawsuit filing in September 2019, had failed to provide 1,050 yards of Demron-W Fabric.
As the Complaint alleges, “[u]ltimately, this transaction is an attempt by Defendants to defraud Riguang out of $200,000.” Further, attorney Aaron C. Garnett stated that “Riguang only recently discovered this because Defendants previously repeatedly gave written and oral representations and assurances that Defendants would deliver the remaining 1,050 yards of Product.”
The Complaint concludes noting that RST’s and Dr. Demeo’s actions constitute breach of contract and fraud, which have caused Riguang to suffer a loss of $200,000, the loss of its customer, and the loss of revenue.
Why Contingency-Fee Business Litigation is a Game-Changer
South Florida corporate litigation attorneys routinely charge $400 – $1,000 per hour. Some charge even more. Assuming a relatively modest hourly attorney rate of $500/hour, Riguang would receive approximately 400 hours of services before spending more on attorney fees than what they are owed by the defendant. That’s close to the total median hours (367) spent on breach of contract lawsuits, according to the National Center for State Courts.
These figures show the potential pitfalls of hourly attorney billing. Obviously, it does not make sense for a small business to spend the entire amount it is owed—or even half that amount—hiring an attorney to recoup their losses. Under these circumstances, it makes more sense to accept the loss.
In many cases, business that renege on promises might appear to be conducting bad business, when in fact they are rationally exploiting contract law. However, this strategy doesn’t work when the victim of a breached contract hires the BTG to represent them. Without the burden of hourly fees, our clients are free to pursue the full value of their claim. And under Florida law, we are often able to recover attorneys’ fees, in addition to the full amount owed.
Receive a Free Review of Your Breach of Contract Case
As the largest exclusively contingency fee commercial litigation practice in Florida — and likely the largest in the country — the BTG is able to handle even the most complex and high-stakes disputes without charging clients any hourly fees.
Our model is not just for businesses and individuals who can’t afford to pay an attorney by the hour, either. We’ve been hired by high-profile clients such as Lou Holtz, Michael Douglas, and the Backstreet Boys, who feel that it is simply good business to pay for results—not hours.