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Copyright Blog

A Chaplain in the Courtroom

A healthcare chaplain alleges copyright infringement against school sponsored medical organization

On August 10, 2021, healthcare chaplain Barry D. Braan, Sr. (the "Plaintiff") filed suit against the University of Maryland Medical System Corporation; Susan Vogel; Anne Weekley; and Joan Crittenden ("Crittenden") (collectively the "Defendants") for purportedly infringing on his intellectual property.

In the complaint, the Plaintiff provides background on how he came to know and interact with the Defendants. The Plaintiff explains how he quickly realized the University of Maryland Medical Center (the "Medical Center") lacked a developed chaplain program. After the Plaintiff made comments regarding the purported deficiencies in the program, the Plaintiff alleges that Crittenden asked him to create a presentation and plan to improve the program.

The Plaintiff asserts he spent "over one hundred hours" preparing his plan and presentation to revitalize the chaplain service system. Following the Plaintiff's initial seminar, he claims that the Defendants began to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display his plan without his authority.

The Plaintiff states that he continued to volunteer at the Medical Center and was never offered any compensation for the plan. The Plaintiff asserts that the Defendants plagiarized and misappropriated his plan, and that the plan ultimately helped Crittenden obtain a paid chaplain position at the Medical Center. The Plaintiff also alleges that the Defendants revoked his security clearance at the Medical Center, and made defamatory comments about his behavior to support the revocation.

The Plaintiff is claiming, among other things, copyright infringement of his plan. The Plaintiff is seeking
"a sum in excess of . . . $75,000 . . . in compensatory damages, statutory damages, attorneys' fees, and such further and additional relief as justice may require."

Updates will be provided as they become available.