Holland & Knight Wins Two Ninth Circuit Reversals for Cerner Corporation
SAN FRANCISCO (October 9, 2019) – Holland & Knight earned two victories in one day in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for firm client Cerner Corporation, a U.S. health information technology supplier.
The Ninth Circuit's September 23 decisions reversed a pair of earlier rulings by the U.S. District Courts for the District of Oregon and the Western District of Washington to dismiss Cerner's proceedings to enforce arbitral awards and guarantees of more than $65 million against former United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Health Ahmed Saeed Mohammed Al Badi Al Dhaheri and his companies in Oregon and Washington for lack of jurisdiction.
In 2008, Cerner entered into a $94 million deal with iCapital S/E, owned by Al Dhaheri, to provide a medical information technology platform for the UAE Ministry of Health. iCapital defaulted on its payment obligations in 2012, and Cerner initiated arbitration. The parties settled, but the agreement fell through and Cerner filed a second arbitration in 2013. After an International Chamber of Commerce tribunal determined it has jurisdiction over Al Dhaheri, the $62.7 million award was issued in 2015.
The Ninth Circuit reversed both earlier district court rulings in two separate opinions of first impression. In the first opinion, it accepted Cerner's arguments that there was jurisdiction for the District of Oregon to determine that the corporate veil should be pierced as to Al Dhaheri and remanded the case for further proceedings. In the second decision, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Western District of Washington lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the enforcement of the guarantee agreement and instructed the district court to remand the case to Washington state court, where it was originally filed.
Partner Warren Gluck led the firm's representation of Cerner. Other members of the Holland & Knight team included Partners David Elkanich, Garrett Garfield, Trisha Rich and Sean Sheely, Associate Stosh Silivos and Staff Attorney Elliot Magruder.