November 26, 2002

Company Accuses Hum Ec of Stealing Techniques

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Bruce Chapman, president of Handle With Care Behavior Management System, Inc. (HWC), accused his competitor Cornell and its subsidiary Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) of publishing a training manual and videotape containing his patent-pending “Two Person Escort Position” in a move to unfairly compete with his company.

HWC programs, according to Chapman, are well-known throughout the human services industry for the effectiveness of their methods in subduing out-of-control behavior, particularly in children in residential care facilities. Chapman’s methods, taught in HWC programs, have been effective in preventing patients who have become violent or out of control from harming themselves or others for over 30 years.

TCI is a program run through the Family Life Development Center in the College of Human Ecology. TCI sells instructional services and materials for the human services industry, particularly training on how to prevent undue violence in residential care facilities for children.

According to Chapman, “TCI until recently held a significant share of the market. Lately, the balance has been sliding away from TCI and towards my company.”

In a letter to Martha Holden of the Family Life Development Center and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, Chapman outlined the alleged violations.

“Cornell is behaving in a way that is academically dishonest,” said Chapman, “and is putting children and the staff that takes care of them at risk.”

HWC’s standard training provides human services workers with instruction on controlling situations through taking several calculated steps and using several patented positions in order to subdue patients without pain or injury, according to Chapman and the company’s website.

As stated in Chapman’s letter of Oct. 23, ” this misappropriation of our Two Person Escort Position places TCI in an unfair advantage to compete against Handle With Care on future contracts.”

The video, according to Chapman’s letter, shows Doug Bidleman, a TCI staff member, demonstrating HWC’s patented Primary Restraint Technique as well. Bidleman, said Chapman, “Was, at the time the video was shot, a certified HWC instructor as well as a TCI instructor.”

TCI’s staff profile website states that Bidleman is, “The coordinator for Sociotherapy Training at Hillside Children Center in Rochester,” and, “specializes in crisis intervention and physical restraint training techniques.”

Bidleman refused to comment to The Sun.

Aside from having misappropriated his techniques, Chapman said, “TCI is taking my escort method and trying to use it with the basket hold, which has big gaping holes from a safety standpoint.”

Chapman added, “There is a risk of asphyxiation. It becomes unsafe when it gets unstable, and then it creates an unsafe scenario. I don’t want my technique associated with this.”

The misuse of these control techniques could lead to serious injury or potentially a fatality, according to Chapman, and is especially dangerous given the tendency of out of control behavior to run in waves among children.

“This matter has been referred to University Counsel,” said Stephen Hamilton, co-director of the Family Life Development Center.

When asked for further comment, Hamilton refused and asserted that the matter was going to be left to the counselor.

Patricia McClary, the associate University counsel, could not be reached for comment.

Chapman further said he was annoyed with the unresponsiveness of TCI and the University as a whole. According to Chapman, he has yet to receive a response to his letter to McClary of Nov. 14 or his letter to President Hunter R. Rawlings III.


Archived article by Chris Mitchell