The insurance giant Liberty Mutual Insurance has filed suit against nine former employees and their new employer, Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings. It’s alleged by Liberty Mutual in the Complaint that the Defendants plotted to steal professional liability insurance business from its Liberty International Underwriters unit. The suit, filed last month in New York County Supreme Court, alleges that the workers and Aspen “unlawfully conspired (and continue to conspire) to breach duties of loyalty to Liberty, raid Liberty’s business operations, and misappropriate Liberty’s trade secrets and goodwill.”
The suit alleges further that the plot was planned and executed by senior employees at Liberty International Underwriters while they were still employed by Liberty Mutual. It claims Aspen allegedly induced these employees to steal confidential information that helped Aspen build an infrastructure necessary to run a successful professional liability insurance operation in direct competition with Liberty Mutual. The suit seeks injunctive relief and unspecified actual and punitive monetary damages.
Liberty says it has been building its professional liability business since 2000 and that employees are required to abide by a code of business ethics and conduct to ensure the secrecy of its information. Liberty alleges the nine employees breached that code. The Complaint accuses Aspen of inducing, aiding and abetting a breach of loyalty owed by the employees. The other causes of action against Aspen and the nine former employees include unfair competition, tortuous interference with contractual and business relationships, unjust enrichment, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract.
It’s rather interesting that Liberty Mutual would resort to the court system as the place it would go to seek relief. I am used to hearing the tort reformers claiming that arbitration is the “quickest, cheapest and best” place for disputes to be resolved and that the courts are to be avoided. But, on second thought, they would only make that type statement when the claimant just happened to be a consumer. But many times when a large corporation is victimized, it heads straight to court leaving its “belief” in the myth of tort reform behind. That seems to be sort of inconsistent when you consider Corporate America consistently claims arbitration is the best way to resolve consumer disputes.
Source: Insurance Journal
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