CHARLESTON, SC--(Marketwired - July 01, 2013) - Revolutions Medical Corporation (RMCP), a Charleston, S.C.-based medical device and software applications company, and its Chief Executive Officer, Rondald Wheet, have been awarded more than $20 million in a default judgment against Phillip Maurice "Marty" Hicks. A special referee for the South Carolina court awarded the company $3.6 million in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages. Wheet was awarded $12,010,000 in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages.
The Charleston County Common Pleas Court found Hicks liable for Internet defamation in September 2011 after he was defaulted as a sanction for disobeying a court order requiring him to participate in discovery in the case. In his decision, the special referee took into account the malicious intent and duration in which Hicks waged his cyber smear campaign against Revolutions Medical and Wheet. He also found that Hicks intentionally interfered with a grant the company was to receive from the Department of Defense in September 2010 to supply its patented RevVac™ safety syringes to its HIV/AIDS Prevention Program.
"This judgment sends a clear message to our shareholders and the market that there are legal and financial consequences when you commit libel," states Wheet, who also serves as the Company's Chairman of the Board. "Looking at the bigger picture, small public companies are vulnerable and can fall prey to these 'short and distort' campaigns waged by individuals, hedge funds and traders. Not only can these campaigns violate securities laws, they can also do severe harm to companies by eroding shareholder value, making it difficult to raise capital, increasing costs and legal expenses, delaying the execution of business plans, stunting job creation, and stymieing the entrepreneurial spirit of small American businesses -- all so they can profit by their actions."
According to Mount Pleasant attorney Stephen Bucher of Bucher Legal LLC, the $20 million awarded in this case should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks they can hide behind an alias to conduct a cyber smear or engage in Internet bullying. "The use of cyber consultants with data mining skills combined with some good old fashioned legal investigation almost ensures that those engaging in these illegal activities can be found," states Bucher who represented the plaintiffs in this case. "The era when someone could use the cloak of anonymity of the Internet to destroy reputations and lives is over. There is no cloak of anonymity. We're coming for you."
Bucher adds, "I admire Wheet for his persistence in this case. He was willing to do what it took legally to take down Hicks."
Wheet notes that he and his company plan to pursue every available legal avenue to collect on this judgment against Hicks.
About Revolutions Medical Corporation
Revolutions Medical is a safety medical device and software application company. Its proprietary technologies and products include: the RevVac™ safety syringe, safety blood drawing device, the RevColor™, RevDisplay™, and Rev3D™ software tools that are compatible with standard MRIs and standard Picture Archiving Computer Systems (PACS) and prefilled auto-retraction vacuum safety syringes.
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