Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has filed another poaching lawsuit against Alliant Insurance Services Inc., charging that eight Chicago Gallagher employees resigned last month and immediately began soliciting business from Gallagher clients.
Separately, Gallagher won a partial victory last week in another poaching case it had filed against Alliant in federal district court in San Francisco in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. vs. Don Tarantino et al.
The trial in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. v. Alliant Insurance Services Inc.filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Thursday, says that on July 11, three Chicago Gallagher employees who worked closely together on several key accounts informed Gallagher that they would resign “effective immediately”; despite having signed an employment agreement which required them to give 21 days written notice of their termination.
They were followed by five more Gallagher employees over the next few days, the lawsuit states.
The complaint alleges that Alliant immediately began contacting Gallagher customers that their departing employees had served to get them to leave Gallagher and move their business to Alliant, including falsely telling a large customer that there was no one left to service their account.
The suit says the layoffs are “part of a concerted action by Alliant … designed and improperly intended to steal business from competitors rather than compete by legal means.”
The complaint said, according to Delaware Chancery Court, Alliant faces at least 41 lawsuits from various competitors in 25 jurisdictions, and that Alliant has poached Gallagher employees in California, Florida, Massachusetts and Texas.
It accuses Alliant of tortious interference with contracts and potential economic benefits, aiding and abetting in breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy.
Gallagher also filed an urgent motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
Separately, in 2020, Gallagher filed suit against Alliant in US District Court in San Francisco, alleging that more than 10 employees had left it to work for Alliant in a departure coordinated by Alliant, in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. v. Don Tarantino, et al.
In November 2020, the court dismissed all claims against Alliant and certain claims against the individual defendants. Gallagher then filed an amended complaint in the case.
In last Wednesday’s ruling, the court granted the defendants’ motion for partial judgment relating to conspiracy liability for misappropriation of trade secrets.
But it denied its motion to dismiss claims of non-conspiracy liability for misappropriation of trade secrets and for breach of fiduciary duty, intentional interference and unfair business practices.
A spokeswoman for Gallagher had no comment, and Alliant did not respond to a request for comment.