Firm files 3rd suit against Monsour weight-loss clinics
A chain of weight-loss centers owned by the late Dr. Robert Monsour are the subject of protracted litigation in Westmoreland County involving alleged broken contracts and accusations of IRS violations.
Ripepi Management Co. LLC of Pittsburgh, which manages medical practices, filed a third amended lawsuit on Wednesday against the estate of Monsour, his sons, doctors Roy and Geoff Monsour, and RJM Medical Management, alleging breach of contract and tortuous interference of a contractual relationship over the administration of Dr. Bob Weight Loss Centers.
The business has clinics in Westmoreland, Indiana, Cambria, Centre, Fayette, Somerset, Blair and Butler counties.
Ripepi Management, which is operated by Dr. Philip Ripepi and William Henry, said it was asked to assume management of the clinics because they were losing money, despite having a heavy volume of business, according to the suit.
But Monsour attorneys contend the business was profitable and Ripepi was retained to perform limited administrative functions.
The legal wrangling started in 2010 when the initial lawsuit was filed. The case has been characterized by motions for sanctions and contempt of court for allegedly attempting to block the deposition of a Greensburg tax attorney who represented the weight-loss company.
According to the suit, attorney Dominic Ciarimboli of Greensburg asked Ripepi to contact the Monsours about running the clinics.
Ripepi contends the two sides reached a “binding oral agreement,” according to court documents.
One deal was for five years, the other for three, the suit says. According to the terms of the agreement, the late Dr. Robert Monsour would receive the first $275,000 of net income while the next $100,000 would go to Ripepi Management. Any money beyond that would be split evenly, the suit says.
Dr. Roy Monsour persuaded his 97-year-old father's caretaker to stop him from signing the contract, the suit says, because Monsour was infirm at the time and required around-the-clock care.
After that, Ripepi contends, Roy Monsour appointed himself president of the company and oversaw the day-to-day operations, according to the suit.
Ripepi attorneys contend that when the Monsours asked Ripepi to use corporate money to pay the personal expenses of Dr. Robert Monsour, Ripepi refused, saying that would violate IRS laws.
Ripepi alleges the Monsours broke the agreement in retaliation for that refusal, according to the lawsuit.
Monsour attorneys argued that Ripepi was hired on a month-to-month basis to handle accounting and business functions as a result of the loss of several employees.
They denied that Roy Monsour was involved in the business operation. In addition, they denied the company was being mismanaged and contended that it was profitable.
Dr. Bob Weight Loss Centers bills the company as the oldest weight-loss program in the state.
It was founded in 1948, according to the company's website, and provides food supplements, drugs, nutritional counseling, exercise and support programs for its patients.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Study shows Ligonier Borough might save if police consolidate
- Student violinist,Valley School of Ligonier reach settlement
- Rostraver man pleads guilty in 2012 deadly wreck on I-70
- Unity planners recommend OK of church plans
- Free training sessions to administer naloxone opiod antidote to begin in Derry
- Tenaska agrees to provide pollution information on proposed South Huntingdon plant
- Greensburg torture slaying participant Marinucci makes second appeal of sentence as unconstitutional
- Derry Township sponsors hazardous-waste drop
- Youngwood officials consider taking over building inspections
- ‘Music in the Mountains’ gets under way this weekend in Ohiopyle
- Ruffsdale family loses daughter, 9, to cancer but gives back in her name