Certis Oncology Prevails in Spurious Lawsuit, Plaintiffs Ordered to Pay Compensatory Damages
Certis Oncology Solutions, a precision oncology and translational science company, announced today the favorable conclusion to legal action brought by AntiCancer, Inc., represented by its CEO and owner, Robert Hoffman. Following a trial, the San Diego Superior Court, presided over by Judge Kenneth Medel, ruled in favor of Certis on all counts, citing Hoffman’s multiple misrepresentations and concealment of important financial facts as evidence of fraud. The court awarded Certis, the cross-complainant, compensatory damages of $625,000 plus another $168,400 related to a February 26, 2021, adjudication of a separate breach-of-contract claim.
“Dr. Hoffman’s claims were baseless and false, and the courts—once again—have ruled accordingly,” said Certis CEO, Peter Ellman.
AntiCancer, Inc., which has been involved in numerous lawsuits with multiple companies over the last two decades, first filed claims against Certis in 2018, several months after Certis terminated a service agreement and a separate license agreement for cause. The claims most recently adjudicated by the bench trial involved ownership of company assets and payment for scientific services which AntiCancer and Hoffman alleged to have provided.
Although most of AntiCancer’s complaints were dismissed in court rulings in 2018-2019, the company issued news releases misrepresenting past court decisions and published defamatory untruths about Certis executives online—a fact underscored by the Superior Court in its recent ruling. The court’s decision states, “Dr. Hoffman has done all in his power to damage the reputation of Certis by…continuing to post spurious disparaging comments on his AntiCancer website.” That false information was finally removed from anticancer.com earlier this month, following the court’s ruling received November 30, 2021.
“I sincerely hope this will end Dr. Hoffman’s persistent attempts to enrich AntiCancer and himself by discrediting our company and its leaders. Our energies should be directed toward the important work of fighting cancer,” said Ellman.
Hoffman’s original complaints were filed and dismissed by the federal court in 2018. Hoffman then issued a news release in November 2018 claiming that ruling was a victory. Following amendment of those complaints, AntiCancer’s claims were again dismissed in federal court and AntiCancer was ordered to pay costs incurred by Certis. AntiCancer subsequently filed additional complaints in San Diego Superior Court, including claims which AntiCancer and Hoffman then lost in summary adjudication in February 2021. The remaining claims adjudicated by the bench trial involved ownership of company assets and claims for payment for scientific services Hoffman alleged that AntiCancer had provided while Hoffman was serving as a board member. In this most recent action in state court, Certis filed a cross complaint against AntiCancer and Hoffman for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. The court found in favor of Certis and Ellman and against Hoffman and AntiCancer on all claims presented in the trial. Ellman stated that, with additional costs to be assessed, the total judgment in favor of Certis is expected to be well in excess of $800,000.
Official Court Records: CASE NO: 37-2019-00011336-CU-BC-CTL
CASE INIT.DATE: 03/01/2019