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Wests Fed Suppl. 2003;264:1064-78.

Greenberg v. Miami Children's Hospital Research Institute.



Court Decision: 264 Federal Supplement, 2d Series 1064; 2003 May 29 (date of decision). Plaintiffs in this case were a group of parents of children afflicted with Canavan disease, who provided tissue for research on the disease and aided in identification of other affected families, and three nonprofit organizations that had developed a confidential database and Canavan disease registry. The defendants were physician-researcher Reuben Matalon, who isolated and patented the Canavan gene sequence and developed genetic screening tests for it, and the Miami facilities where he did his research. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed several of the plaintiffs' claims, including lack of informed consent, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent concealment of the patent, and misappropriation of trade secrets. However, the court upheld the claim of unjust enrichment made by the donors of tissue, on the grounds that "the facts paint a picture of a continuing research collaboration that involved Plaintiffs also investing time and significant resources."

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