A Pennsylvania state court has granted USI Insurance Services Inc. $ 1.1 million in litigation over a former employee's alleged failure to honor his non-compete agreement, in a ruling issued last week focusing on the broker's handwriting.
USI charged that Eric M. Frieman, a former Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. employee acquired by USI in 2017, violated his unparalleled and non-contractual agreement when leaving Wells Fargo for Baltimore-based RCM&D Self-insurance Services Inc., which operates as a SISCO, and then solicited companies from 18 Wells Fargo clients, according to a Philadelphia Court of Justice USI Insurance Services National Inc. f / k / an advertisement f / d / b / a Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. v. Eric M. Frieman and RCM & D Self-Insured Services Co. Inc.
Mr. Frieman, who was hired by Wells Fargo as a 2008 Employee Benefits Producer, signed a contract with unsurpassed and non-compete provisions in 201
"This court finds that the plaintiff has shown that the agreement is a valid enforceable agreement and the defendant Frieman breached the agreement by requesting the clients he serves at Wells Fargo, "said the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia County.
The" most crucial issue "in the case was whether Mr. Frieman had signed the agreement. He denied it and told his prospective employers that his signature was falsified. "
" Defendant Frieman claims that he only signs his name in a way and the signing of the agreement is not the style of his signature, "said in the decision. " The signature of the defendant Frieman admits that his belong graphic style and is unreadable, "said the decision.
" But both the denied signature and the authorized signature are shown in a document dated September 1, 2005, as above for ownership of their former home, "said the decision that reproduces both signatures.
"The signatures on the deed and the mortgage are proof that the defendant Frieman really has two styles of signatures," the decision said. "Therefore, this court finds that the defendant failed to show with clear and convincing evidence that his signature on the contract was forged.
"The agreement is a valid agreement," the decision said when awarding USI the $ 1.7 million, which it said is based on gross commissions received by RCM & D for the 18 clients during the period the agreement was violated.
USI's attorney, Vincent N. Barbera, a partner with White & Williams LLP in Philadelphia, said this case's outcome "is evidence of USI's tenacity in pursuing these goals and its commitment to come to the truth and protect its rights. "
Attorney Gordon P. Lentz, founding partner at Bochetto & Lentz PC in Philadelphia, said in a statement, "We do not agree with the verdict and are pursuing probation proceedings and an appeal."