So I rarely resort to clickbait tactics, but anytime you can use the phrase “underwear model” in a legal blog title, you just cash in.
And the plaintiff’s status as a former underwear model has some relevance here – apparently his former employer – and now fiercest competitor – tried to humiliate the guy with constant, public references to his more naked days. of old according to a new complaint:
- Jacobson often encouraged colleagues and potential clients to
search for photos of Gladstone online from her previous underwear
- Jacobson forced Gladstone to send a giant cardboard cutout of
Gladstone models underwear for a future gay doctor.
- Jacobson made highly offensive and sexually provocative remarks to and
about Gladstone in the office and at sales meetings.
Salacious. But what does this have to do with the TCPA?
Well, this colorful backdrop serves as the setting for a new lawsuit filed to challenge the filing of another lawsuit — this one a TCPA class action — that was allegedly filed by a competitor solely to try to put a company out of business. .
So what’s going on here?
It really is a classic tale – allegedly. A star student in a company is so successful that he poses a threat to management. Management seeks to humiliate the standout performer. Ultimately, the performer tires of the abuse and strikes out on his own in an effort to compete by doing things his own way. The management of the former employer becomes furious and tries to crush the newcomer by all means, including frivolous litigation.
An iteration of this story plays out a thousand times a day in this country across many industries – Big Law being no exception (believe me on that.)
This The story is unusual, however, because the weapon the derelict company (allegedly) tried to deploy to crush the newcomer was a TCPA class action lawsuit. (Well, and because of all that underwear stuff.)
Specifically, the former employer allegedly found a patsy plaintiff to bring a class action lawsuit against the new competitor — and funded the lawsuit — all as part of a scheme to shut down the new business. Here are the main allegations:
Jacobson – the CEO of SignatureMD – is paying May’s legal fees in this
litigation against competitor of SignatureMD and former
employee. . . . [T]his arrangement raises significant concerns about
whether May’s attorney is motivated by a desire to zealously represent
the putative class, or rather by Jacobson or SignatureMD
litigation agenda. This arrangement also raises significant concerns
whether Jacobson interfered or will interfere with the professional
judgment of May’s lawyer.
The claims and allegations in the federal lawsuit, coupled with Dr. May’s
superb admissions, confirm that SignatureMD and Jacobson, using Signature’s
chairman of the medical advisory board as their pawn – orchestrated the trial and
continued to control it from the shadows to circumvent the arbitration clause
and continue to wreak financial havoc on Longeviti (and its young CEO,
Gladstone), which compete directly with SignatureMD in concierge medicine
assistance services market.
Pretty rude, no?
Now, I don’t know if any of these allegations are true – the former employer may have a perfectly reasonable answer (and there are two sides to every story even if the facts are correct) – but it is certainly true that defending a TCPA litigation can be a problem. huge drain on any institution. So I’m not surprised to hear that companies might consider initiating a TCPA class action lawsuit against a business competitor to gain a competitive advantage.
Along the same lines, my clients often ask me what they can do about the other companies that do not obey the law. I often tell them – don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time before they get sued and regret their decision. Corn this is not what I had in mind. haha.
Of course, a company looking to be more proactive against a rival who flouts the law can always sue the rival directly in a state UCL claim (if applicable.) It’s unfair to the good company that the bad company gains an advantage (eg more sales) from my illegal calls. And many states allow good companies to sue bad companies to recoup those illicit gains. (Call me if you have any questions about this.)
Either way, I’ll pay close attention to this new costume – you can read the complaint here Weird Complaint – and let you know what happens.