UI engineering professor faces lawsuit

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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A surgeon at the Saudi German Hospital Group in Saudi Arabia is suing an Iowa corporation and its majority shareholder and part-owner, alleging breach of contract.

According to court documents, Dr. Fawzy Amer Deghedy contacted Viztek Inc. officials, which has an office located on Gilbert Street, in late 2003 or 2004. Deghedy wanted to know if the company, which creates and distributes visualization and virtual-reality systems, had a "three-dimensional complete anatomical system of the full human body," according to court documents. The system, he said, would help Muslim professors and students at the Saudi German Hospital Group's medical schools to learn anatomy because of the Islamic faith's religious guidelines relating to use of human cadavers.

Karim Abdel-Malek, a University of Iowa engineering professor and part-owner of Viztek, is also named in the lawsuit. Abdel-Malek responded to Deghedy's email to tell him Viztek had the technological capabilities to assist Deghedy in making the system, the lawsuit says.

A written contract defining the intellectual property rights and ownership of the system was executed in July 2005, according to court documents.

In the lawsuit filed last week, Deghedy is suing Viztek for breach of contract and is seeking an amount in excess of $75,000 in damages. He is also claiming tortuous interference with a contract against Abdel-Malek. 

— By Beth Bratsos

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