FRONTRUNNERS® FILES SUIT AGAINST ABIM FOR ANTITRUST VIOLATIONS
Indeed in August 2008, as ABIM's "educational division" or "silent partner", if you will (otherwise known as the ACP), began planning its online marketing campaign for its competing MKSAP product, ABIM proactively sued FRONTRUNNERS® complaining that FRONTRUNNERS® content was too similar to ABIM's exams. Then, following 27 months of litigation during which ABIM endured a brutal beating by FRONTRUNNERS®, ABIM ultimately received a failing grade when it came to presenting the merits of their case before a Federal Court in California, with ABIM left holding their flaccid ego, unable to show any evidence of actual infringement whatsoever by FRONTRUNNERS®.
Of even greater interest, immediately
after ABIM filed their sham case against FRONTRUNNERS®,
in what many have observed was an obvious effort to redirect
market share from FRONTRUNNERS®
Internal Medicine Board Review product line over to
In its cross-complaint against ABIM, FRONTRUNNERS® detailed how, beginning as early as 2000 and continuing now, the defendant ABIM and co-conspirator ACP engaged in a combination of and conspiracy in unreasonable restraint of trade and commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Violations Act (15 U.S.C. §1) and how, beginning as early as 2000 and continuing now, ABIM and ACP engaged in a combination and conspiracy to monopolize, or attempt to monopolize trade and interstate commerce in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act (15 U.S.C. §2). The case was initially dismissed, NOT on its merits (in other words it wasn't dismissed because these allegations were untrue), but for a 4 year statute of limitations on antitrust cases! The basic rule is that damages are recoverable under the federal antitrust acts only if the suit is commenced within four years after the cause of action accrued. 15 U.S.C. § 15(b). Apparently, it's ok to have engaged in, and continue to engage in (ie ongoing injury to the market of internists) antitrust activities and unfair business practices as long as no one notices within the first 4 years *lol*. A cause of action, however, does not necessarily "accrue" when the defendant commits the act causing the plaintiff's injury, but may be tolled (suspended) until the plaintiff discovers, or should have discovered, the injury. This leaves yet another obvious chink in ABIM's faux armor should FRONTRUNNERS choose to reengage ABIM on its antitrust complaint during appeal.
ABIM quoted Pace Industries, Inc. v. Three Phoenix Co., 813 F.2d 234, 237-39 (9th Cir. 1987) citing that plaintiff, IN ORDER TO CIRCUMVENT THAT 4 year antitrust SOL, must allege a "new and independent act that is not merely a reaffirmation of a previous act" and "inflicts new and accumulating injury on plaintiff." Interestingly, it turns out that FRONTRUNNERS® may have excellent grounds to appeal its antitrust case against the ABIM by citing that the "new and independent act" was in fact the very lawsuit itself that ABIM filed in August of 2008, in their effort to slow FRONTRUNNERS® down just long enough, with their meritless lawsuit, for the release and simultatenous launch of their "silent partner's", that is, ACP's MKSAP 15, which directly competes with FRONTRUNNERS® curriculum (yet another chink in their S.O.L. armor when put before an Appellate Court). According to FRONTRUNNERS®, ABIM's filing represented ABIM's attempt to carve a clear and unobstructed path for ABIM's "education division", or "silent partner", the American College of Physicians, in their misguided attempt to redirect market share. The "new and independent act", or "new injuries" to put it simply, can certainly also be found in ABIM's recent faux-pas heard round the world in which hundreds, if not thousands, of physicians' careers were forever-impacted and their rights violated by ABIM's "higher-than-thou" misfires, which are expected to have ABIM tied up in lawsuits for the next umpteen years.
You can check out and even download FRONTRUNNERS® Complaint vs ABIM, for ABIM's Sherman Antitrust Violations by clicking HERE. Litigation is indeed ongoing.
and, to catch up on the LATEST on FRONTRUNNERS® case against ABIM, simply CLICK HERE.
Individuals who are passionate about this topic, are politically active in medical legislation, natural leaders, who want to make a REAL change in medicine for our generation of physicians AND the next, or are presently part of a legislative body per se, are encouraged to contact the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division as well as their State Attorney General's offices and simply say, "Hey, I think there's something you might want to look into." . Individuals with family connections to leading antitrust attorneys and firms in particular, with experience in horizontal & vertical restraints, product tying, etc) can really make a big difference, perhaps the biggest difference of all. Those pursuiing either invidual or class action lawsuits vs ABIM will also benefit from reviewing FRONTRUNNERS' Settlement 'Offer' to ABIM. This piece also highlights key concepts and underscores the statutory fines, imposed by the government, against corrupt corporations engaging in Antitrust activities. Fines are currently set at $100,000,000 for corporations for every such activity.
What's the latest in FRONTRUNNERS' case? Well, litigation is still ongoing, and
in fact, ABIM just pleaded with Dr Mittman for their 7th (you heard that right,
SEVENTH) 2-3 month EXTENSION (which has brought them no closer to anything,
except more debt). I'm sure that Arora settlement will balance the sheets
though. Incidentally, while Dr Mittman received something like 26 separate
subpoenas and numerous depositions, NO PHYSICIAN names ever came up! (oh, except
for ONE physician that we had to tell them about. Oh yeah! It was one of their
very own! An Internal Medicine Exam Writing Committee Member, Dr Ellen Gordon,
who, as turns out, had herself ordered our own products years ago while
she was still writing questions on the committee! *lol*, and in fact, ordered
our entire curriculum. How ironic. Forget U. I guess
you get what you ask for. Are your questions that bad that you can't even study
your own? Or, is your mind so feeble that you're using my questions to write
your "own"? I mean which is it? Or do you just have no faith in
To date, despite ABIM's anile attorneys & their small flaccid (that's the opposite of "large firm"); despite 2 years of litigation; and despite 26 subpoenas on Dr Mittman, ABIM totally FAILED to extract any physician names from Dr Mittman or his company and CONTINUE to FAIL in their efforts to find FRONTRUNNERS® at fault for ANY copyright infringement. Dr Mittman--who represented FRONTRUNNERS® in Pro Per throughout the case in California's FEDERAL COURT, states that the reason for ABIM's failures is that FRONTRUNNERS® has successfully argued that,
Honestly, we also have to thank ABIM, because every time they tell us our materials are too similar to their exam, it's like having their endorsement lol, only better, because we're not affiliated. Really though, it's the greatest compliment of all: No evidence of infringement to date but our content is too similar to your exams; hmm, THANK you! Maybe we'll dedicate our next book to you! (actually we just did! >> Check out FRONTRUNNERS® 5th ed. of Turbo Mnemonics for the Boards, specifically the dedication page. It's included in all of our home study packages, and see if you can find the secret message!)
When Dr Mittman told ABIM attorneys that, ultimately, he had written all of
prep questions himself, you could see ABIM's attorney faces go pale(r)....because
obviously, they were looking for the names of "secret contributors". Yeah, I
keep them all in some imaginary mental rolodex. What are you smoking? Sorry, you
won't find any names here. All in all, the ABIM's desperate requests for
extensions throughout the past 2 years have added 1.5 years to the case, as they
continue to bill their benevolent benefactor, the ABIM who in turn passes those
"savings" on to you equally benevolently, no doubt, thru ever-increasing
Certification & Recertification exam registration costs (for computerized
exams, right?...come'on) and for all those stupid little modules that we have to
take now to satisfy your
Here's a quick summary of our Antitrust case. FRONTRUNNERS® filed suit against the ABIM for Sherman Antitrust Violations between 2008-2009, and despite the ONGOING injuries to the market of physicians (as well as companies like ourselves), because FRONTRUNNERS® was able to trace in detail ABIM's misconduct to as far back as the year 2000, because there had been no DIFFERENT (new and independent) injury to physicians (at the time!) within the previous 4 years, ABIM barely dodged that bullet thanks to the 4 year Statute of Limitations on Antitrust suits. What this meant was that, if we wanted our Antitrust case evaluated on its MERITS (the facts of the case), then, per Pace Industries, Inc. v. Three Phoenix Co., we'd have to find evidence of some "NEW and INDEPENDENT INJURY" to physicians by ABIM within the past 4 years. So despite ongoing injury we were able to show stemming from ABIM's illegal monopolization tactics and market manipulation, the MERITS of FRONTRUNNERS' Antitrust case itself were NEVER actually adjudicated.
"But wait a minute", you might be saying, "What about this blanket sanctioning of physicians nationwide by ABIM?" Wouldn't that constitute a "new and independent injury"?? (ABIM attorneys? I hope you're still alive? Pay attention!!). Well, that's something that you'll want to discuss with your antitrust attorneys. I'm pretty sure they'll say "OBVIOUSLY" or "IT'S DEFINITELY A GREAT CASE". But you may need to show them what some of the real-life physicians are saying and check out some of the blogs, like the recent Wall Street Journal (minus the one angry attorney "BS" who's getting his ass kicked right now). Everything else is pretty good reading though. Oh yeah, do print it off and take it into your attorneys because it will make your cases against ABIM a whole lot easier since they'll have the big picture about what's going on over there at ABIM. Here's that link:
So, the present climate, following ABIM's recent psychotic break, is actually a true opportunity in disguise. How would it go down? The ideal situation would probably be a group of physicians who, first of all, didn't do anything wrong, and then were injured by the ABIM, and then adding, as an ADDITIONAL CAUSE OF ACTION (or the main one), the ANTITRUST ALLEGATIONS. Then joining these with FRONTRUNNERS® information & resources as part of a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT on behalf of physicians nationwide. These 2 incidents together would provide an EXCELLENT PLATFORM for investigating, according to FRONTRUNNERS®, ABIM's and ACP's combination of and conspiracy in unreasonable restraint of trade and commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Violations Act (15 U.S.C. §1) and ABIM and ACP's combination and conspiracy to monopolize, or attempt to monopolize trade and interstate commerce in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act (15 U.S.C. §2). FRONTRUNNERS® believes that, while some of the copyright claims may have been warranted, ABIM has intentionally resorted to "fear-mongering" (equivalent to shouting "FIRE" in a theatre...so they can get the seat they wanted) thru its most recent "scandel"ous actions in order to REDIRECT (thru fear tactics) more of the Certification and Recertification business toward their siamese twin ACP, ABIM's "partner-in-crime", "silent partner", or "educational division" as FRONTRUNNERS® has opined; and thru bogus copyright claims that are intended to redirect market share. I think most would agree these siamese twins are connected at the hip pocket (it's sure not the brain).
So what does all this mean? It means good news for everyone (except ABIM).
Given the recent overwhelming tide of injured and angered physicians against ABIM following nothing short of BLUDGEONING physicians' careers, their reputations, and their lives, as the dust begins to settle, physicians are now seeing the bigger picture, what's really going on. ABIM is pretending that it wants us/physicians to "learn a lesson". But I'm pretty sure that it's some psycho who's caugh between the throes of her "i'm better than you ethics" binges and her "holy, cr-p I could be making a lot of money selling ACP products if I don't tell people we're joined at the hip (or maybe I'll just let them think we're sort of sister organizations so it's OK!"
Physicians aren't stupid. If
they didn't already know it, and are checking out the blogs, they're quickly
discovering that ABIM intentionally and maliciously engaged in fear mongering
in order to drive physicians to
Under the GUISE of politically-correct- isms like "ethics", "sanctions" and "patient care" (and, ok let's throw in "non-profit organization" 'cuz it's conspicuously on every damn page of everything that they ever write, like the kid who said "I DIDN'T DO IT"...but no one asked, lol), many now believe that ABIM INTENTIONALLY engaged in this fear mongering using fear of sanctions as their "negative reinforcement", or disincentive, we being the rats of course. (it's unconscionable if it's true) staged this fear-mongering in order to drive the market of physicians FROM the private board review companies like FRONTRUNNERS® and Medstudy that BACK to ACP, who, some might say, is ABIM's own "secret contributor" or "silent benefactor". Ahhhh, how romantic. Like Great Expectations. But unlike the novel, every physician I speak to knows it's going on; knows it's wrong; and wants to do something about it. They just don't know what or are stuck in their stupid clinic on the insurance rat wheel running 15% faster every time CPT codes get a 15% cut. They can hardly get off, much less think about how to take up their concerns with the ABIM.
Wait a minute. Creating "files" on physicians who had ever attended a particular board review (for not reporting something they "must have known" was wrong? How about if they weren't aware of any such ALLEGED misconduct? Those physicians careers and reputations were still harmed and they were never given due justice). If you were a pretty straight-shooter, and you didn't do anything wrong, then it seems to me that YOUR injuries would certainly comprise that "new and independent" / recent injury so that ABIM will no longer be able to hide statutes for cowards, ie you'll have YOUR injury plus you'll be able to use our Antitrust arguments, since you'll NOW have something within the past 4 years that constitutes that new injury...that we didn't have until just a few weeks ago. However, our case is at a different stage, and nothing's every "in the bag". But if you're starting fresh, you're at a relative advantage because you already have all of our hard work behind you.
While there are many ways this may play out, FRONTRUNNERS® Board Review encourages other physicians who are presently seeking action against the ABIM for such damages to consider saving resources and merging cases, so that we can together file our Antitrust claim, individual claims, etc as a CLASS ACTION against the ABIM and ACP, together with and on behalf of internists across the country. Through numerous complex mechanisms (that all boil down to greed), it is FRONTRUNNERS' position that Internists everywhere unknowingly lost thousands of dollars each, indirectly, thru this unethical and illegal arrangement; ABIM's willful misconduct; ABIM's $30,000,000 / year income and ridiculous foundation members' salaries; the undisclosed nature of their business relationship, as most physicians STILL have no idea that when ABIM was exclusively endorsing ACP, it had a LOT to gain in return. and ABIM's flagrant violation of the Antitrust laws, which are there to save us if we can only extend our hand. FRONTRUNNERS® also gives its approval to any physician, attorney, or firm who wishes to use any portion or all of FRONTRUNNERS® Complaint &/or arguments in your case agains the ABIM.
But tens of thousands of physicians have surely failed through ACP, doctors who MIGHT have passed had they felt that there were other "acceptable", equally-endorsed board review companies. But obviously, it wouldn't have been in ABIM's best interests to build FRONTRUNNERS® or Medstudy products into their Recertification 100 point system of requriements (like they do ACP products)....because they wouldn't make any money off us. It's a racket. Everyone knows. Business relationships have to be disclosed, esp when you really are essentially exclusively endorsing one another in so many ways.
We believe that, in ABIM's most recent blunder, ABIM acted both recklessly and negligently, in utter disregard for the collateral damage to innocent bystanders. FRONTRUNNERS® believes that ABIM did so in an effort to artificially INDUCE an environment of "panic" among physicians who would, in turn, ABIM hopes, be driven, away from private board review companies, who take a far more modern, realistic approach to board review, as in FRONTRUNNERS® "this is what you have to know" approach to board review, and into the belly of the beast, ie ACP's competing line of products with which ABIM ultimately splits the booty.
Remember, a vote for FRONTRUNNERS® is a vote against the ABIM. Your order is your vote and how you empower us to make a change.
When you're ready to make your choice (what better time than now?), don't forget to choose FRONTRUNNERS® for the best in Internal Medicine Board Review!While registration deadline has past, all the 2014 materials (only better quality and a LOT cheaper) are now available thru our home-study packages (simply click the longer link below). And you'll get it months before anyone. You'll find them in the link below.
And, by the way, we doggedly protect the privacy of all our customers on numerous levels. That means, when you interact with us, your identity, and your information is SECURE. Think of us as your SSL connection when it comes to your security.
And remember to choose FRONTRUNNERS® first, "When all you wanna know is what you gotta know!"™
You'll find all of FRONTRUNNERS® home study packages and samples by checking out our Product Vault anytime. Thanks and ...
Wishing you the very best!Bradley D Mittman, MD FRONTRUNNERS® BOARD REVIEW
Toll-free 866-MDBOARD or 866-IMREVIEW
(866-632-6273 / 866-467-3843)
www.gofrontrunners.com/Internal-Medicine-Board-Review.htm And if you found this article informative, don't forget to check out the other found here: www.gofrontrunners.com/The-Latest-On-Frontrunners-Case-Against-ABIM.htm where you'll find an amazing collection of blogs, other resources and additional information!
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