PLAINTIFF’S ORIGINAL COMPLAINT

February 3, 2023

Sandy Montano

Deer Park Dental, PLLC

P.O. Box 18184

Spokane, WA 99228

Phone | Fax

Email

 

Plaintiff in pro per

 

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON

 

SANDY MONTANO,

Plaintiff,

vs.

HEATHER DAWN VINCENT; BROOKLYN KENNEDY; AND MALENA PALMER,

Defendant

Case No.: Number

plaintiff’s original complaint

 

NOW COMES Sandy Montano, Plaintiff, and files this Complaint against Defendants Heather Dawn Vincent, Brooklyn Kennedy and (Dental Assistant), and for cause, would show this Honorable Court as follows:

 

  • PARTIES
  1. Plaintiff Sandy Montano is a male adult of sound mind and a law-abiding citizen whose address is Deer Park Dental, P.O. Box 18184, Spokane, WA 99228.
  2. Defendant Heather Dawn Vincent (hereinafter referred to as “Heather”) is a female adult of sound mind whose address is P.O. Box 197, Wallace, ID 83873.
  3. Defendant Brooklyn Kennedy (hereinafter referred to as “Brooklyn”) is a female adult of sound mind whose address is P.O. Box 116, Valley, WA 99181.
  4. Defendant Malena Palmer is a female adult of sound mind whose address is 38910 N. Short Rd., Deer Park, WA 99006.

 

  • JURISDICTION AND VENUE
  1. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S. Code § 1332 (diversity of citizenship). Plaintiff resides in the State of Washington and Defendant Heather Dawn Vincent resides in the State of Idaho.
  2. Venue is proper in this Court in accordance with 28 U.S. Code §1391(b) which states that: “A civil action may be brought in – (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred.” The causes of action in this Complaint took place within the Eastern District of Washington.

 

  • STATEMENT OF FACTS
  1. Sandy is the proprietor of Deer Park Dental, PLLC. He is licensed to practice dentistry in the State of Washington. At all times in this Complaint, Defendants were all employees of Sandy.
  2. Sandy was in a relationship with Heather. At the same time, Heather worked at Sandy’s practice as the Manager of Deer Park Dental, PLLC. 
  3. During her time at Deer Park Dental, PLLC, Heather used funds belonging to the company for her own personal use without written authorization. She did not reimburse the funds.
  4. Heather repeatedly defrauded the company by failing to record payments made by clients in the software system. That caused Deer Park Dental, PLLC huge financial losses.
  5. The romantic relationship between Sandy and Heather ended in October 2021. That also meant that Heather would stop working at Deer Park Dental, PLLC. Sandy requested Heather to return all of her access to the following business emails: social.deerparkdental@gmail.com and dpdmanager@gmail.com as well as passwords that were assigned to Heather by Sandy.
  6. The following day after Heather left her employment at Deer Park Dental, she intentionally changed the passwords, and she became the only person with access to the emails. In those emails were confidential records of patients of Deer Park Dental. Heather also changed the Facebook and Instagram passwords of Deer Park Dental.
  7. Sandy made multiple respectful requests to Heather to return all the passwords but she declined to do so. Sandy had to make a report at the cybercrime’s unit. Sandy chose to let the Facebook account remain locked. Sandy was able to obtain a police report from Spokane Police Department. The police report is no. 2021-1015-1979. 
  8. Heather’s repeated refusal to surrender the passwords led to the shutdown and resets of Deer Park Dental including Washington Healthcare Authority and all dental insurances passwords and access, causing full closure and paralysis of Sandy’s dental practice.
  9. On November 16, 2021, Brooklyn intentionally took forms and documents belonging to Deer Park Dental. She also took a routing slip containing specific patient information outside the premises of Deer Park Dental. 
  10. On November 16, 2021, Brooklyn trespassed by entering the premises of Deer Park Dental and barged in Sandy’s office. Earlier, she had intentionally called 911 and falsely accused Sandy to the local authorities.
  11. When Brooklyn barged in, she made false statements against Sandy that eventually hurt his practice.
  12. Sandy made a police report against Brooklyn and Malenna for theft of document logs and a patient’s routing slip, and job abandonment and patient abandonment. The report was made at the Spokane Police Department. Its no. is _________________.

 

  • CAUSES OF ACTION

Theft by Conversion

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates the facts in Paragraphs 7-17 as though set out in full herein. 
  2. “To prevail on a claim for conversion, a plaintiff must prove the following elements: (1) that the defendant willfully interfered with a chattel; (2) that the defendant acted without lawful justification; (3) that the plaintiff was entitled to possession of the chattel; and (4) that the plaintiff was deprived of such possession.” Armijo v. Yakima HMA, LLC, et. al., 868 F. Supp. 2d 1129 (2012).
  3. Heather had access to the emails and passwords as long as she was an employee of Deer Park Dental. Her access was revoked by Plaintiff when he asked her to return them after she quit her employment at Deer Park Dental. Her actions of changing the passwords to the emails and social media accounts amount to unlawful access. 
  4. There was no legal justification for Heather to retain access to the emails and passwords after she had quit her employment. Her access was revoked by Plaintiff after she quit her employment. 
  5. Plaintiff was entitled to access to the emails and passwords. Plaintiff granted Heather access to the passwords and wished to have them back so that he could continue running the affairs of Deer Park Dental. 
  6. Heather deprived Plaintiff of possession of the emails and passwords that contained sensitive information crucial to the operation of Deer Park Dental. As a result of Heather’s failure to surrender the emails and passwords back to Plaintiff, Plaintiff was unable to continue running the operations of Deer Park Dental and he had to close down his dental practice.
  7. Heather is liable for theft by conversion.
  8. Brooklyn took possession of the forms, documents and a routing slip containing confidential information. She had no access because she had left her employment at Deer Park Dental. There was no reason for Brooklyn to have access to the forms, documents, and the routing slip. As the proprietor of Deer Park Dental, Plaintiff was entitled to the forms, documents and routing slip so that he could continue to run Deer Park Dental after Brooklyn quit her employment. Plaintiff was unable to continue running Deer Park Dental without the documents, forms, and the routing slip.
  9. Brooklyn is liable for theft by conversion.

 

Unjust Enrichment

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates the facts and allegations in Paragraphs 7-26 as though set out in full herein.
  2. “The elements of an implied contract unjust enrichment claim are (1) the defendant receives a benefit, (2) the benefit is received at the plaintiff’s expense, and (3) the circumstances make it unjust of the defendant to retain the benefit without payment.” Coordes v. Wells Fargo Bank, No. 2:19-CV-0052-TOR (Dist. Court, ED Washington 2019).
  3. Heather received a benefit from Deer Park Dental when she channeled money meant for the company’s operation towards her personal use and failed to enter payments made by patients in the software system.
  4. Heather misappropriated the company’s funds, leading to the closure of Plaintiff’s practice under Deer Park Dental as he was unable to continue running the operations of Deer Park Dental without the funds that Heather had misappropriated.
  5. It would be unjust to allow Heather to continue to keep the funds she embezzled from thee company. Heather is liable for unjust enrichment.

 

Defamation

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates the facts and allegations in Paragraphs 7-31 of this Complaint as though set out in full herein.
  2. “The elements a plaintiff must establish in a defamation case are falsity, an unprivileged communication, fault and damages.” Mohr v. Grant, 153 Wash.2d 812, 822, 108 P.3d 768, 773 (2005). Defendants provided false information to the Dental Quality Assurance Commission that Plaintiff failed to maintain proper infection control standards to include using used gloves, instruments, x-ray barriers, and towels, and failing to maintain clean water lines. Defendants also falsely stated that Plaintiff mixed topical gel with external use only Lidocaine, mixed powered charcoal with toothpaste to make a prophy paste, and violated HIPAA by sending records out of the country for billing.
  3. As a result of the defamation by Defendants, Plaintiff suffered by having to close down his practice as he could not be able to run it anymore.
  4. “Publication of a defamatory statement to someone other than the person defamed is essential to liability.” Doe v. Gonzaga Univ.¸ 143 Wash.2d 687, 701, 24 P.3d 390 (2001), rev’d on other grounds, 536 U.S. 273, 122 S.Ct. 2268, 153 L.Ed.2d 309 (2002). Defendants published defamatory statements against Plaintiff to the Dental Quality Assurance Commission. 
  5. “Actual malice exists when a statement is made with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless regard of its truth or falsity.” Gonzaga, 143 Wash.2d at 703, 24 P.3D 390. Defendants knew that the information they provided to the Dental Quality Assurance Commission was false but they still proceeded and disseminated it. 

 

Intentional Interference with Prospective Business Relations

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates the facts and allegations in Paragraphs 7-34 of this Complaint as though set out in full herein.
  2. “To carry its tortious interference claim, Plaintiff must show (1) the existence of a valid contractual relationship or business expectancy; (2) that defendants had knowledge of that relationship; (3) an intentional interference inducing or causing a breach or termination of the relationship or expectancy; (4) that defendants interfered for an improper purpose or used improper means; and (5) resultant damages.” Fidelitad, Inc. v. Insitu, Inc., No. 13-CV-3128-TOR (2014).
  3. Plaintiff had a dental practice under Deer Park Dental. The practice was doing well and had several employees, among them Defendants. Plaintiff had clients throughout. It is a reasonable expectation that his practice would have gone to attract more clients. Being employees of Deer Park Dental, Plaintiff’s practice, Defendants were aware of the prospective business that Deer Park Dental.
  4. Defendants’ actions interfered with Plaintiff’s prospective business. Heather’s refusal to surrender the emails and passwords back to Plaintiff after she left her employment hampered Plaintiff’s ability to continue running Deer Park Dental, and Plaintiff had to close his practice. Plaintiff could no longer get prospective business as a result of Heather’s refusal to return the emails and passwords that contained information which is sensitive and confidential.
  5. Brooklyn’s unlawful taking of forms, documents and routing slip from Plaintiff’s office hampered Plaintiff’s ability to continue running Deer Park Dental. As a result, he had to close his practice. Plaintiff’s potential business was hampered by Brooklyn’s actions.
  6. Defendants did not have any justifiable reason to do maintain unlawful possession of Plaintiff’s emails, passwords, forms, and routing slip collectively. Defendants are liable for intentional interference with prospective business relations.

 

Trespass

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates the facts and allegations set out in Paragraphs 4-40 of this Complaint as though set out in full herein.
  2. Under RCW 9A.52.080, a person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another under circumstances not constituting criminal trespass in the first degree. RCW 9A.20.021 further states that as a misdemeanor, a conviction may carry a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
  3. Brooklyn intentionally and unlawfully entered the premises of Plaintiff’s practice. She was unlawfully there because she had quit her employment at Deer Park Dental. She continued to remain in the premises and even took some forms, documents and the routing slip. 
  4. Brooklyn is liable for trespass.

 

  • PRAYER FOR RELIEF

REASONS WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests this Honorable Court to grant him the following reliefs:

  1. Grant judgment in favor of Plaintiff;
  2. Issue an order of specific performance compelling Heather Dawn Vincent to return the misappropriated funds in the sum of $______;
  3. Issue an order of specific performance compelling Heather Dawn Vincent to surrender access to the following emails: social.deerparkdental@gmail.com and dpdmanager@gmail.com as well as passwords to Facebook and Instagram accounts that were assigned to her by Sandy Montano;
  4. Issue an order of specific performance compelling Brooklyn Kennedy to return to Plaintiff forms, documents, and the routing form she had taken from Sandy Montano’s office;
  5. Award Plaintiff damages for conversion, unjust enrichment, defamation, intentional interference with prospective business relations, and trespass;
  6. Award Plaintiff punitive damages;
  7. Award Plaintiff pre and post judgment interests, costs of this suit, and attorney fees as allowed by law;
  8. Award Plaintiff such equitable relief as may be appropriate under the circumstances; and
  9. Award such further relief as this Honorable Court deems necessary and proper.

 

Dated this ___ day of December, 2021.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

___________________________________

Sandy Montano,

Plaintiff in pro per

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