Dentist claims Wal-Mart stole idea for in-store clinics

Kianor Shah, DMD, has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart, claiming the retail chain stole his idea for putting dental clinics into its stores.

The suit alleges conspiracy, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and confidence, and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, according to a press release by Dr. Shah's attorneys. It was filed in the Superior Court of California, Riverside County, in December.

Dr. Shah claims he pitched the idea of opening low-cost, full-service dental offices in big-box retailers to Wal-Mart. After the chain committed to Dr. Shah's idea, store officials subsequently rejected the proposal, according to his complaint.

Dr. Shah alleges that Wal-Mart then shared his idea for the dental clinics with Kent Reeves, former Wal-Mart vice president of business development, and Ken Antos, a restaurant business partner. In 2012, Wal-Mart opened a clinic that was inspired by Dr. Shah in its Moreno Valley, CA, store, run by Reeves, Antos, and a third business partner, according to the lawsuit.

The suit alleges the entire plan for the in-store clinic is an exact duplicate of the ideas Dr. Shah originally shared with Wal-Mart, down to the very type of dental chairs used.

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