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GeneLink Former CEO's Lawsuit Dismissed

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A judge in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has dismissed an appeal in a lawsuit by GeneLink's former CEO against the company, its GeneWize Life Sciences marketing subsidiary, and some of the company's executives, the company said today.

John DePhillipo, the former GeneLink CEO, had appealed a dismissal ruling handed down by the Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County, in May 2009.

As GenomeWeb Daily News reported last May, the court dismissed the suit, for damages the plaintiff valued at around $20 million, on the grounds that the claims "were not viable," according to the company.

DePhillipo filed the suit with the claim that the company had misrepresented its financial status in a previous settlement between the two parties.

In that 2008 settlement in New Jersey DePhillipo gave up 4 million of his shares and other compensation for himself and his family because the defendant's attorney told the court that the company was in dire financial straits.

While GeneLink reported in financial documents at the time that it was preparing to launch the GeneWize subsidiary, it did not declare any of its specific financial information.

The suit following that settlement alleged that the company had misrepresented its standing by releasing its annual report late, and that after the performance of its GeneWize marketing arm was disclosed the company's shares rose.

DePhillipo filed the second suit based on fraudulent omission, but the judge in the case found that GeneLink was not obligated to provide the data on GeneWize because it had no independent duty to do so.

DePhillipo left the firm in January 2007 on the grounds that it was involved in a lawsuit that was not funded by the company, because of financing issues he saw between the board and shareholders, and because its financial disclosures were inadequate.

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