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Report: #1300689

Complaint Review: Skyride Technology, Scott Olson - Waconia Minnesota

  • Submitted: Tue, April 19, 2016
  • Updated: Tue, February 13, 2018
  • Reported By: Sean Horihan — Allegan Michigan USA
  • Skyride Technology, Scott Olson
    7820 Paul Ave
    Waconia, Minnesota
    USA

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I, Sean Horihan, am the inventor listed on the granted patent number 9,168,931 entitled Suspended Recreational Vehicle.

Scott Olson used deception and lies to get me to assign my work to his company Skyride Technology.  

I worked for Scott from late 2009 to early 2012.  Over this 2.5 years Scott paid me a total of $12,250.  I spent $4,495.47 on materials and supplies that were never reimbursed by Scott.  I have all the receipts for these expenses.

So, Scott actually only paid me $7,754.53.  This was determined through the course of trial.

I designed and built several large machines as well as the switch track mechanisms. Scott had absolutely no working designs that could switch from one track to another before meeting me. [continued below]....

..... I also did thousands of hours of work laying out the foundation of the company by building concepts for sales, websites, etc. All of those working at Skyride at the time considered me to be the backbone of the project. All of my hours were logged in calendars. My wife saw me fill them out each day, and dozens of people witnessed my work first hand. An entire book of photos exists showing the immense amount of work I accompished.  I worked a total of 6,720 hours on the Skyride project.  If you do the math, that equals $1.15/hour.  

You might ask, why did I continue working??

I continued working because Scott promised that I would receive equity in the company. Scott was handing out these pro bono equity promises like hotcakes back then.  He claimed to not have the proper funding for the project, so he offered the promise of equity instead. I was not the only person he conned into thinking they would eventually get part of this startup company. Several people were not paid. 

Patent attorney Mark Burns varified that I was the true inventor of the switch track mechanism and the unique chain drive configuration used in the Skyride system.  The additions I made to the patent made it novel enough for the patent examiner to accept the patent.  The original application was too vague and was superceded by prior art.  Arthur Hotchkiss for example built something very similar to the Skyride in 1892.  Since then hundreds of other similar machines have been built for various reasons.

Working with Scott was like having a hope to one day see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel kept getting longer and longer.  In the last six months of working for him I demanded signed agreements and payment.  I signed a consulting agreement that was supposed to give me $15/hr.  I never saw anywhere near $15/hr from Scott.  He knew that I was sold on the excitenment of the product and the promise of what the future might hold should I create great things and own shares in this company.  He knew I was more interested in the thought of owning part of the company that I helped create.  He was right, I would continue working.  I was too far into it to back out, and cut my losses.  I considered leaving several times, but my losses would be huge, so I stuck with it hoping to get what I was promised.

When Scott requested that I assign my the patent to his company it was agreed that he would work out an agreement for equity in the days to follow.  This was to be the turning point where I would now have a percentage of the company, and therefore something to show for all my work.  After I signed the patent assignment to Skyride Technology (which was owned 100% by Scott), Scott stopped returning emails, phone calls... everything.  He disapeared from all communication.

After relentlessly trying to reach him, and waiting for responses to proposals sent to him we had enough.  Myself and two other unpaid workers went to his property (also the place where the prototype was built) in hopes to meet him and discuss things in person.  He was not there.  Not only was he not there but the new Skyride machine I just built and the molds for making it were missing. We hungout in his driveway until sundown.  With tears in our eyes, in shock of what just happened to us, we eventually left.

About a week later I went to resurrect what I could.  Scott had several of my belongings and tools at his property (and still does to this day).  I showed up and Scott was there.  I went into the shed and gathered a few items that were mine. I met Scott in the driveway and explained what I had come to get.  As I was leaving Scott approached my car.  He reached over me and violently yanked the items out of my car. An electrical transformer hit me in the face and broke the mirror on my car.  I stepped on the gas and got out of there as quick as I could.

The next day I was served with a restraining order.  In this restraining order were a whole list of crazy claims about how I went to his place and tried to kill him.  All of the people working with me at the time assumed this was a clever way to keep me away from the property that was rightfully mine. It was becoming more and more apparent that this was his motive.

I was sidetracked by a two week vacation with my wife shortly after the restraining order. By the time we got back the 30 day time period to contest the restraining order had already past.  I was not aware of this time limit.  Not contesting this was a huge mistake, but it doesn't change the fact that I was the victim, not Scott.

Several weeks later Scott could be seen on the KS95 website advertising the Skybike that I had built.  I had absolutely no money to get a lawyer, my marriage was suffering because of all of this, and I had hit rock bottom.  Myself and others involved decided to go to his property and damage the machines so Scott could not continue marketing something that he never paid for.

I was arrested at my house, my home was searched and I was being charged with two felonies!  When the police questioned me about who else was involved I lied to them so friends of mine would not get in trouble.  Scott would later use this against me in court to damage my credibility.  To this day, those friends thank me endlessly, because Scott would likely have gone after them as well.

In the criminal hearing both felonies were dropped, and I was left with a mistemeanor for treaspass and violation of restraining order.  I thought I had seen the end of Scott after that hearing.  I spent three days in jail (before the hearing, and before I could get a lawyer) and paid a fine.

This is when the harassment started.  Scott sent endless emails to me, my new boss at Ropes Courses Inc, my wife, friends and family.  He even sent strange harassing messages to my parents.  

Many months later Scott filed a civil lawsuit against me.  The harassment never stopped. Scott was suing me for damages to his company and invasion of privacy.  He was "adding up" the damages over nearly a year.  In reality he was contracting professionals to build a more refined production model based on my design.  It should be noted that I designed and built everything from scratch using hand tools and a lot of love.  I had money into the machines I built for Skyride.  I had nearly $2,000 into the machine that I damaged (which was easily repairable).  

Scott was claiming it took over $78,834.77 dollars to repair the machines.

How is it that Scott paid me $7,754 over 2.5 years and I DESIGNED and built five machines, several switch tracks, wrote the patent, did website and marketing work etc, and Scott spent over 10 times that amount to do rapairs to two machines using my designs?!  Nearly all of the parts were perfectly fine.  Any capable fabricator could have repaired the damages in a couple weeks using minimal materials.  I have all the proof to show that this is the case. 

I was forced to file a countersuit and pay $45,000 to a lawyer for my defense (this was paid with the engineering job I now have). The case ended up going all the way to trial. Scott was seemingly drunk at his first deposition, so it was cut short.  In his next deposition Scott admitted to attacking me in his driveway when I was retrieving my belongings (this was the event that caused him to get a restraining order against me).  He was skating around in Rollerblades during litigation, which was a complete joke ending with Scott wanting two completely new and different machines plus $40,000.  He is like a kid begging for more toys.

At trial my Lawyer Ian Laurie completely dropped the ball, or never had the ball.  Ian failed to submit any of my important documents from discovery... these included work logs, bank statements, receipts, contracts, photos, etc.  Ian also never brought to trial the dollar amount that I was requesting for compensation.  He failed to prompt me about this dollar amount while I was on the stand, so the jury literally had no numbers from my side!

My lawyer continually told me that Scott did not submit anything to discovery.  Well, this turned out to not be true.  At trial I was shown what the Plaintiff (Scott) had submitted to discovery.  I was looking at this for the very first time right before going on the stand. There was no defense in place for any of it.

My lawyer also failed to submit my witnesses to be present at trial.  Luckly the judge allowed my wife to be present.  Ian proceeded to skip dozens of extremely important questions with every person he questioned.

To top it all off, my lawyer "forgot" to put the issue of equity compensation into the jury questions (one of my main claims).

The trial was a complete mess.  My lawyer literally did not do anything.  Now I know how innocent people end up in jail.  The jury had no option but to award Scott the entire amount he was asking for.  It was found that Scott did breach my contract, and broke the covenent of good faith and fair dealing.  The offset amount of Scott's outrageous claims left me with a $73,500 judgement plus all the court fees etc.  I'm looking at over $150,000 with legal fees.

Scott will claim I'm a lying, threatening, psycho.  I urge you to talk to those involved in the Skyride project back then, and talk to my friends and family, and checkout my facebook page.  I'm not a crazy psycho.  I have an awesome job designing adventure courses in Michigan now.  I'm willing to share any and all evidence related to this case.  I will guarantee that Scott will not make the same offer.  It is a fact that Scott is getting away with robbery through the use of our convoluted legal system.

Yes, I did a few things wrong...  But, it is reasonable to think that anyone pushed to the absolute limit would react in some way.  I feel extremely proud that I never became violent, I never even stole anything.  I simple damaged something that I designed, built, and paid for...  which was just a piece of fiberglass and some bicycle parts.  Scott never paid me, and yet he continues to use my designs and my patent.

I'm putting this story out there to hopefully stop any more unsuspecting contractors, investors, or customers from falling victim to Scott's immoral business practices.  After talking to people involved in Scott's previous business endeavors this seems to be a reoccurring theme.

Thanks,

~sean

 

 

 

 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/19/2016 05:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/skyride-technology-scott-olson/waconia-minnesota-55387/skyride-technology-scott-olson-rollerblade-guy-breach-of-contract-non-payment-decept-1300689. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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3Consumer
0Employee/Owner

#1 General Comment

Scott's Personality

AUTHOR: TIM - (United States)

I would like speak to the way Scott treats people that may lend some insight as to the person he actually is. 

My wife, 5 year old child and I were all granted restraining orders against Scott Olson for repeated harrassment where we live.  Scott was a guest of another person living in the condo building that we also lived at.  He would continually allow his off leash dog to attack mine while with my pregnant wife and 5 year old daughter.  He would stand outside the building looking up into our windows and wave at my daughter.  He would wait in his car outside for the opportunity to confront us when we would leave the condo.  He trapped my pregnant wife in an elevator holding the door while his dog lunged and and tried to bite her.  He threatened violence on more than one occasion and eventually my wife had to go on anxiety medications because she was afraid to leave the condo with him around.

  All of these incidents are documented and submitted in a court of law when he tried to fight the restraining orders. It got so bad with other residents being lunged at by his dog that that the onsite property manager volunteered to be a witness to us in court.  The property management company had pages of incidents of harrassment by Scott spanning months.  The judge basically laughed him out of the courtroom and ruled in our favor.  The association forced the owner of condo unit to terminate the lease of the person he was staying with.

Even after the restraining orders were held up in court he continued to harrass my wife by coming back to the neighborhood and whistling and heckling her when he would see her.   In my dealings with Scott I have come across many people that have been treated the same way including stories from one of the cops that helped me get him served.  Like I said, all of this is all backed up by court documents and is not simply just the word of somone on the internet.

I have had many people with the same experiences of abuse from Scott reach out to me and thank me for taking a stand.  I was truly sorry for them after hearing multiple stories with some worse than mine but those are not mine to tell.  This is the person you are defending.

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#2 Author of original report

Additional notes to Jedd

AUTHOR: - ()

 Hi Jedd, I'll spell your name right this time. I do remember hearing your name as being one of Scott's friends, but I've never really met you and you certainly don't know me. I would be willing to show you everything that never made it into trial. There was a lot in discovery that should've made it into the court, but my lawyer failed to follow the right procedures or use reasonable legal skill. I'll also show you specific differences between the machine I built and the machine Scott claims replaced it because of damages. There is a huge discrepancy in cost and type of work... roughly $70k worth. I'm sharing this info with anyone who wants to evaluate the case for themselves. You're welcome to call me and I'm willing to sit down and describe the meaning and importance of this information. You can decide for yourself if Scott is in the right or wrong. Since the problems at trial were my lawyers fault it makes an appeal pointless, so I'm going about this a different way and offering the truth to anyone who wants to know. I should add that I'm not hiding anything from Scott's side of the story... it all has it's place and can be considered just the same as my side of the case. ~sean

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#3 Author of original report

Response to Jebb

AUTHOR: - ()

 Hello Jebb, It seems you only know what Scott has told you. You were not closely tied to the nuts and bolts of the construction, nor do you have knowledge of such things. There is a saying that has a very powerful message when it comes to inventing/patenting... Anyone can say, "We should travel to the moon." Just because somebody said that far before man went to the moon doesn't make that person the inventor of the spacecraft or all of the science and knowledge it took to get to the moon. Yes, Scott had visions of a switching track, but that is nothing profound... anyone who has seen a train in their life might come up with such a thought. Yes, Scott had visions of a drive system that would perform in fantastic ways. This is also just a typical thought of a person thinking about a contraption similar to the Hotchkiss railway. I personally thought of the specifics that make these thoughts a reality and there is no denying that. I have dated photos, drawings, and the patent was written directly off my designs, so I am the inventor of something new and different. Scott is not. You said I didn't help with marketing. You obviously didn't know that I was the one communicating directly with places like Summerset WI, Telemark WI, city councils, the Pangea project etc. Adam and Brian were also in contact with dozens of these potential customers. I was the go to guy for all technical information. I gave many sales pitches as I was the one who could give concrete information, which is what any customer wants. Anyone having thoughts about buying something like the Skyride wants to know the real life info, not a bunch of marketing fluff. Everyone else at the time could provide a vision to the customer, but I was the only one who provided real numbers based on fact and knowledge. I can send you all of the emails where either Scott or Adam handed over potential customers email or phone numbers so that I could contact them and answer their questions.

I wrote the majority of the text that described Skyride and the different machines on the website. I have all of this material and people who back me up on the fact that I wrote it. I also thought of the name Skyride, and the name Skychaser. So Jebb, I ask you what is right about Scott paying me less than $10k? I was working for equity, but Scott made it very clear that he was not planning to fulfill this agreement when he took the newest machine and molds and hid them from me without paying. Did you know that I sold a $1,500 motorcycle to pay for parts on that machine? Yes I damaged a very small percentage of the overall work I did at Skyride. If I was paid less than $10k that would mean that the damage should cost far less than $10k to repair. Scott went far beyond just repairing the machine I built. He added receipts for costs related to developing completely new machines. I would've had a solid defense had myself or my lawyer been able to review these expenses. Laurie and Laurie law firm did not provide us with the discovery document, or at least I was never made aware of the documents until I was sitting in trial. I have dated videos showing that Scott had already repaired the machines far before he claims.

Also, it is not my fault that Scott is not skilled enough to repair or have the good judgement to find the appropriate people to make repairs in a cost effect manner. I could've have repaired everything in less than two weeks with less than $1000 worth of materials, easily. I'm not a superhuman, I'm just very skilled at what I do. Scott has filed a new CIP application with all of the art and text from the patent I'm listed as inventor on. He put himself and Michael Guthling as the inventors on this application. I'm not sure if you know much about patents or inventors rights, but it doesn't take a genius to understand that what Scott is doing is wrong. If you have any other questions or would like to see proof of what I'm claiming I will be happy to provide you with any and all material. Your friend Scott got greedy, then put himself in the victims shoes. There was no reason to be afraid that I'd come out and damage the track. It can be proven through testimonies from Brian and Adam that the track being left open was not in any way an attempt to kill Scott... we couldn't find the machine because Scott hid it. Scott's depositions clearly describes the event where I was retrieving my belongings and Scott attacked me.

All I can say to you Jebb is to look through the entire case before jumping to conclusions. I work a great job where people love me, and love what I create, so I'm not some crazy quack who doesn't know what they're talking about. Much of this case revolves around lack of knowledge and greed. Scott has both of those traits. For this reason I think Scott maybe doesn't even understand that he is in the wrong. I'm giving any and all the opportunity to look over the case and my defense for themselves. I'm confident that a very different light will be shed on this matter once it has been reviewed by logical intelligent people. Thanks, -sean

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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sean only tells one fabricated story

AUTHOR: Jedd B - (USA)

Scott is not ripping anyone off. He is a true inventor as with many of his other inventions. As with any successful business people become jeolous and feel they are entitled to more than they are. They believe that they are better than they, added more value than they did or more important in the company than they are. All of this is seen in Sean. Sean definately has hands on skills, no denying that, but he was not influential in the building of the Skyride. Here is why and how I know...

I have worked with Scott off and on since 2000. I helped work on his Rowbikes, Lunarbed, Kong Pong, and the Skyride. I kept coming back to help him, as a friend, even after I grew my own career in other areas. He has showed nothing but integrity and support for me own ventures.

Scott had the design and prototypes of the Skyride a decade or more before Sean ever was involved in anyway. I know this because I helped build the very first track and skyride. The vision of track switching, different methods of propulsion, etc. were all in the works already. Sean only added in building the vision that Scott already had, just as I provided that same value a decade earlier.

 

I was involved with Skyride while Sean was working out there. I saw the damage he did after he lost his mind. It was definately quite extensive and we stopped anyone from riding the track for weeks with fear that Sean would be back out and cause more unsafe conditions that would be unseen initially. Sean created a very hostile environent. It is funny that Sean says that he was also influential in the marketing side. He was not in anyway! I, along with a few other people, were the ones working on marketing and new ideas (ex. I worked with a couple of investors, one being the biggest investor to date who is still very involve in the company, I talked to potential customers, I developed the quotations, worked with the graphic designers for marketing material). Funny how while I was doing all of this Sean was never involved in any of the conversations but yet he claimes he was influntial in all of this.

This previous sentence sums all of this up and comes full circle of a jealous individual who feels entitled and more important than they really are. One who desperately wants to stake a claim and make a name for themself of a growing success of a company.

 

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#5 Author of original report

Response to Joe Blackman

AUTHOR: - ()

Hello, Joe.

You don't know me.  I have never met you or heard of your name.  So how are you to say what went on between Scott and I?

Scott had a bike that pedaled around a track.  Do you understand the particulars of the items I added?  These items made it possible for a patent to be granted.  Before my contribution Scott had nothing that would be considered a viable patent. Scott went years resubmitting and arguing his original patent with the examiners.  He simple had nothing novel about the design.  

Yes, my lawyer srcewed up.  If I had seen the list of damage claims that Scott was bringing to trial there would have been a defense that would knock that amount down to a less than $5K.  Do you know that Scott had already repaired the damage far before he claims?  I have a dated news video as proof of that.

The jury would have had a compensation amount from me had my lawyer submitted it.  My lawyer submitted no numbers to the jury.

These shortcomings during trial and major mistakes made by my lawyer in the initial countersuit don't make Scott in the right.  The outcome only means that it's not worth suing my lawyer because of cost.

I am willing to share EVERYTHING with anyone questioning Scott's business practices.  These things include all discovery items, all documents... everything.  The fact is, the overall facts of the case put me in the right, more than Scott.  There is not a single piece of information that false about what I am saying here... that's why I'm willing to share the entire case file with anyone who is interested.

I lied to protect friends from getting busted.  You guys can tear me apart for that, but you should remember, me lying about who else was involved doesn't change Scott's actions.  Scott had a group of people turn on him because Scott gave an indefinite timeline on his promise and never paid people.

I'm not stopping, and you wouldn't either if this happened to you.

You should have first hand knowledge before talking.

Sean

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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Lies and More Lies

AUTHOR: Joseph Blackman - (USA)

Sean Horihan lies - and this report he files is filled with more lies.

To claim that Sean Horihan invented Skyride is equivalent to Al Gore's claim of inventing the Internet.

I have known and worked with Scott Olson for over 20 years - and I recall when he first showed me the drawings for Skyride over 20 years ago.

I think Sean Horihan was probably still in diapers at that time - and it appears he still should be wearing them - for being such a big baby.

The court decided that Sean wronged Scott - and now Sean has to make up more lies and sour grapes.

Congratulations Scott Olson on bringing your amazing invention to market - sorry you got caught up with such a lunatic like Sean.

Sean - time to move on - the court held you accountable for the terrible damage you caused - go away and stay away.

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