AUSTIN, Texas--()--Earlier this month, Maplewood Software, Inc., and its subsidiary Maplewood Lab, LLC, were subject to a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by Judge Paul Davis of the District Court of Travis County, Texas, in a lawsuit involving Maplewood’s business collaboration with Longhorn Laboratory Partners, LLC. The two companies are jointly marketing, selling, and servicing software products used by medical laboratories to automate staff scheduling and laboratory inspection readiness, among other things.
In the lawsuit that names Maplewood Lab, LLC and Maplewood Software, Inc., as defendants, plaintiff Longhorn Laboratory Partners, LLC, alleges numerous breaches of contract involving the business collaboration between the two companies. The claims include allegations, as reported by medical laboratory customers of the business collaboration, that Maplewood Software’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products failed to perform as represented and as expected by these customers.
According to the lawsuit, Maplewood Lab, LLC, and its parent company, Maplewood Software, Inc. (collectively: Maplewood), have introduced new versions of the SaaS software. The lawsuit alleges that Maplewood delivered to customers software that did not perform as represented for these customers and had not been beta-tested by an actual medical laboratory client before Maplewood began selling and implementing these SaaS software products to customers. Maplewood’s software products are intended to automate the scheduling of medical laboratory staffing and to automate aspects of inspection readiness and laboratory compliance, particularly for CLIA and Medicare accreditation.
Another allegation of the lawsuit is that Maplewood did not provide set-up, training, and follow-up customer service that fully met the expectations of certain of the laboratory customers of the Maplewood-Longhorn joint venture and business collaboration. The lawsuit claims that Maplewood’s failure to perform and meet customer needs caused these new clinical laboratory customers to cease using the software and to indicate that they would not renew their SaaS service contracts for another term.
The lawsuit provides examples of these alleged failures by Maplewood to provide the contracted services to customers and meet their expectations. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that “In November 2011, Flagstaff Medical Center and Verde Valley Medical Center (‘Flagstaff’) purchased CBDA medical laboratory staff scheduling products from Maplewood. Maplewood recently advised Longhorn that, although Flagstaff was ‘impressed with the software’, the hospital was choosing not to renew its contract. Upon subsequent investigation, however, Longhorn learned that Flagstaff was far from ‘impressed’ with the software provided by Maplewood. Flagstaff complained that the tutorials provided were poorly written, that it received little feedback from Maplewood during implementation and training, that the software had numerous bugs, and that the ScheduleReady product was cumbersome to use, along with numerous other complaints [by this customer].”
In the example of Flagstaff Memorial Medical Center, the lawsuit further claims that “Maplewood, moreover, never disclosed to Longhorn that, as a contract vendor to PharmacyOneSource [a division of Wolters Kluwer Corporation], Maplewood, during this same time, was working to provide the Flagstaff pharmacy department with set-up and training services for the PharmacyOneSource SaaS pharmacy staff automated scheduling product that is now in successful use by the pharmacy department.”
In Maplewood’s dealings with another clinical laboratory customer, the lawsuit alleges that “In approximately November 2011, Maplewood sold CBDA Products for inspection readiness and staff competency to the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale (‘Mayo’), a nationally-prominent health system. At the time the contract was executed, Mayo was ready to commence training on and implementation of the software. Maplewood, however, without Longhorn’s knowledge, accepted a full-year’s payment in advance from Mayo for the SaaS products but told Mayo to wait and not implement the purchased software until new upgrades were delivered by Maplewood. Longhorn did not learn until the summer of 2012 that Maplewood had yet to deliver an implemented program at Mayo’s medical laboratory... Maplewood had been accepting fees from Mayo… without earning those fees, and, indeed, affirmatively misrepresented to Longhorn that Mayo had requested a delay in implementing the software. As a consequence, Maplewood received unearned fees from Mayo that must now be re-credited and has undermined the business and contractual relationship with Mayo Clinic Scottsdale.”
In another example of the alleged failures of Maplewood to deliver acceptable software products and customer set-up, training, and follow-up service, the lawsuit claims that “In January 2012, the medical laboratory division of Fairview Health System (Fairview), a nationally prominent health system in Minneapolis, Minnesota, purchased CBDA Products for use in laboratory staff scheduling for 850 employees at the laboratories of Fairview’s 13 hospitals. Fairview paid for a full year’s service in advance, along with substantial one-time training and implementation fees.” As described in the legal documents, “Complaints from Fairview users ranged from ‘Software training was sparse, at best’ and ‘Software did not reflect our current [staff] scheduling process’ to ‘Tutorials often left me confused’. Maplewood excluded Longhorn from the collaborative process during Maplewood’s dealings with Fairview and failed to advise Longhorn of Fairview’s complaints... Because of Maplewood’s failures to manage and serve this account, Fairview did not fully deploy the CBDA Products as it [the customer] intended... As a consequence, Maplewood received unearned fees from Fairview that must likely be re-credited and has undermined the business and contractual relationship with Fairview.”
The Temporary Restraining Order enjoins Maplewood taking a number of actions that would interfere with Longhorn Laboratory Partners’ rights under its collaborative business development agreement with Maplewood Software. A hearing has been scheduled for early next month to consider the plaintiff’s application for a temporary injunction of certain activities of Maplewood Software pending a full trial on the merits of the lawsuit.
About Longhorn Laboratory Partners, LLC
With two full decades of experience in the clinical laboratory marketplace, the principals of Longhorn Laboratory Partners, based in Austin, Texas, are the primary distributors to medical laboratories of SaaS services designed to automate laboratory staff scheduling, inspection preparedness, staff competency/credentialing, and required compliance activities.