The Medfusion vs. Allscripts lawsuit comes down to the interpretation of a comma

Medfusion and Allscripts have been facing each other in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, and the outcome of the lawsuit could hinge on the use of a single comma, according to Triangle Business Journal.

Medfusion sued Allscripts in May 2014 alleging Allscripts did not meet its commitments under a contract to create and market an online patient portal. Medfusion sued Allscripts for more than $4 million in damages, according to the report.

In a court ruling responding to Allscripts' requested motion to dismiss Medfusion's complaint, the court determined there is ambiguity surrounding a phrase in the contract between Allscripts and Medfusion.

According to the ruling, the contract between the two companies said, "in no event shall either party be liable for any loss or damage to revenues, profits, or goodwill or other special incidental, indirect, or consequential damages of any kind, resulting from its performance or failure to perform under this agreement…"

According to Allscripts, the serial comma before "or goodwill" indicates that there are three separate categories of damages for which they are not liable: revenues, profits and goodwill, the report says.

However, Medfusion argues the phrase "or other special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages of any kind…" modifies the "revenues, profits, or goodwill" section, so the categories of damages are only excluded if they are consequential or indirect, according to the report.

The court ruled the provision regarding the damages is subject to more than one interpretation, according to the report.

The court date is set for February 2016.

More articles on healthcare lawsuits:

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IU Health hit with $100M false claims lawsuit: 5 things to know

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