Mercy accused of ‘stealing’ trade secrets from health care app company

A Kansas mobile health care app company has filed a lawsuit against Mercy in a contract dispute over trade secrets related to home telehealth technology that allows providers to keep tabs on patients and communicate about their treatment needs.

As reported earlier by the Kansas City Business Journal, LifeScience Technologies LLC accuses St. Louis-based Mercy of using its virtual care software platform, m.Care, since 2015. More recently, LST asserts, Mercy made a “willful and deliberate disclosure of LST’s trade secrets and confidential information to a third-party competitor,” Myia Health, located in San Francisco.

“To accomplish this, (Mercy) allowed Myia’s software development team improper access to LST’s software using credentials,” LST said in its lawsuit filed in the Missouri Eastern District federal court on Oct. 25. The lawsuit states that before demonstrating m.Care for potential customers like Mercy, LST requires them to sign non-disclosure agreements “prior to receiving technical information about the system.”

After giving Myia access to m.Care, LST argues, Mercy acquired a $5 million ownership interest in Myia and replaced LST’s software with what the Kansas company calls “Myia’s derivative software.”

“Mercy and Myia systematically and deliberately began implementing the Myia software at Mercy in place of LST’s long-standing m.Care software,” the lawsuit argues, characterizing the actions as “stealing.”

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In its lawsuit, LST said it wants the federal court to award actual and punitive damages, lost profits and the amount of any “unjust enrichment” Mercy and Myia may have accumulated. It also asked the court to permanently enjoin Mercy and Myia from use of LST’s trade secrets and to order the “the destruction of any software product” developed with the help of LST’s know-how.

Mercy declined to comment on Thursday via a Springfield-based spokesperson. The News-Leader could not immediately reach Myia Health.

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In announcing the suit, LST president Steve Hendrix said in a news release, “This is the first time in our 30 years that we have needed to enforce our contracts and protected work product via a lawsuit.”

Reach News-Leader reporter Gregory Holman by emailing [email protected]. Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.