HOUSTON (CN) – A Texas emergency medical services company seeks to depose the owner of a rival business, claiming it has spent more than $100,000 on security because his cronies shot out windows, cut brakes and placed GPS trackers on its ambulances.
Republic EMS Ltd. sued Viking Enterprises Inc. dba City Ambulance Services and owner Mohamad Massoud on Wednesday in Harris County Court.
Republic says in its lawsuit its marketing chief Omar Dar used to work for City Ambulance but left because Massoud didn’t keep his promise to give Dar a stake in City Ambulance. And Dar is just one of several employees who have defected to Republic.
“Recently, clients and employees of City Ambulance have left in favor of Republic EMS. The reason: Republic EMS provides a superior ambulance service and superior working environment for its employees,” the complaint states.
Republic says its success stirred so much resentment in Massoud that he targeted its ambulances.
“Representatives hired, authorized and/or ratified by City Ambulance and Mohamad Massoud, president of City Ambulance, deliberately vandalized a Republic EMS ambulance in May 2016. They shot out the windows of one of Republic’s ambulances with a firearm,” the lawsuit states.
Reached by phone Thursday for his response to the allegations, Massoud said he would call Courthouse News back after a meeting, but did not.
Republic says nine of its ambulances were vandalized in autumn 2016 and Massoud directed the attacks. “The shootings of Republic EMS ambulances occurred at a variety of locations in Texas,” the filing states.
The vandalism took a sinister turn when City Ambulance agents cut the brakes on a Republic ambulance, Republic says.
Republic says it spent $11,000 on repairs for its ambulances and more than $100,000 on security “due to the vandalism and threats of violence.”
GPS tracking devices were found on Republic’s ambulances when they were in the shop, Republic says. It claims City Ambulance used the trackers to find out who its customers are and to locate its ambulances to vandalize them.
“City Ambulance then sent marketing materials to the clients and prospective clients of Republic EMS,” the complaint states.
Republic says it reported City Ambulance’s use of the trackers to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, which seized the devices.
“Edith Hernandez, the wife of a City Ambulance director, Hadi Mneimneh ordered, purchased, paid for by and/or registered the tracking devices,” the lawsuit states.
Hernandez is a defendant in the lawsuit, Mneimneh is not.
Republic says the damage Massoud had done to its ambulances endangered patients, which is “reprehensible” considering that City Ambulance is a health care provider.
In one instance, Republic says, its paramedics didn’t realize the windows on their ambulance were busted until they arrived to pick up a patient.
“Due to the vandalism, the Republic EMS team was unable to transport the patient, and treatment for the patient was significantly delayed. It is fortunate that no patient died or has been seriously injured as a result of the vandalism,” the lawsuit states.
Republic seeks punitive damages for conversion, tortious interference, conspiracy and aiding and abetting.
It plans to depose Massoud and Hernandez on August 25 and August 28.
It is represented by Paul Clote with McGinnis Lochridge and Kilgore in Houston.