Sam Walton often admitted borrowing great ideas from others and then implementing them within his retail empire – Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
But Dr. Kianor Shah of Riverside, Calif., is fighting back against this practice filing suit in late December alleging the retailer ripped off his idea shared with the Wal-Mart officials in 2008.
Shah says he pitched the idea of low cost, full-service dental offices within big box stores in late 2008 to Wal-Mart, who committed to the idea and then pulled out.
Court documents allege Wal-Mart shared Dr. Shah’s proposition for the dental clinics with fellow defendants Kent Reeves, former Wal-Mart vice president of new business development, and Ken Antos, a long-term restaurant business partner.
In 2012, Wal-Mart opened a dental clinic in its Moreno Valley, Calif., store which is run by defendants Christopher Comfort, Kent Reeves and Ken Antos.
The plaintiff alleges that the entire plan for the in-store clinic is an exact duplicate of the ideas he originally shared with Wal-Mart – down to the type of dental chairs used.
The suit filed in California Supreme Court on behalf of Shah names Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Comfort Care Dental Management and alleges civil conspiracy, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and confidence.
Wal-Mart stores says it “did not misappropriate any information from the plaintiff in this case.
“Simply put, his (Shah’s) allegations are baseless and misguided. Offering our customers access to services they want, like independent medical, banking and restaurants, enables us to deliver on our commitment to offer one-stop shopping. We will continue to provide products and services that our customers are interested in and this includes leasing space to others when it makes sense,” according to an e-mail statement from Randy Hargrove, Wal-Mart spokesman.