Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has in the latest industry as poachers sued Alliant Insurance Services Inc. and other defendants and accused them of conspiring with their former employees to steal confidential information and trade secrets.
The lawsuit accused more than 10 employees in a mass dismissal coordinated by Newport Beach, California-based Alliant and the other defendants, leaving Gallagher for a period of five days without prior notice and immediately began working for Alliant, which led to nearly 50 lost Gallagher customers as of last Wednesday, according to the trial reported Friday Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. against Don Tarantino et al. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which is based in San Francisco.
"This concerted attack on Gallagher was planned for several months," according to the complaint, and included stealing important customer data, actively urging Gallagher customers in the weeks leading up to the departure of employees and efforts to "sabotage" Gallagher's ability to retain customers.
According to the complaint, Tarantino and another defendant, Michael Machette, said they sold their insurance agencies to Gallagher several years ago and were both subject to restrictions following terminations of calls to Gallagher customers and employees.
The decision states that the Alliance's conduct "is in line with its national strategy to illegally steal business from competitors, which often results in the imposition of bans and other negative decisions against it.
The action cites earlier disputes brought by Lockton Cos. Inc.
Alliant has also been a defendant in lawsuits filed by Aon PLC.
The complaint accuses the defendants of breach of contract, misuse of commerce, breach of administrative obligation, intentional interference with potential economic advantage and with contractual relations, unfair business practices and unfair enrichment among others.
A Gallagher spokeswoman had no comment while Alliant did not respond to a request for comment.