RP Wins Second Appeal for VALIC in Unfair Competition Matter


Reilly Pozner is pleased to announce an important victory for the firm’s client The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (“VALIC”) in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  RP is national counsel for VALIC’s trade secret and unfair competition docket.

 VALIC was sued by three former financial advisors in a declaratory judgment action in Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) District Court styled Gary Latuszewski, et al. v. VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc.  The firm removed the case to federal court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and counterclaimed on behalf of VALIC.  The firm successfully secured a preliminary injunction against the former employees who left VALIC for a direct competitor in violation of their non-solicitation agreements. 

The employees appealed the lower court’s decision and the Third Circuit affirmed the injunction order, in part.  The matter was remanded to the lower court for a bench trial on liability and damages.  During this trial, the court found in favor of VALIC on its breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, and tortuous interference with contract counterclaims and awarded $581,960 in compensatory damages.  The trial court also denied the employees’ request for damages related to the portion of the injunction that had been dismissed by the appellate court.   The employees subsequently filed a second appeal.

In the most recent appellate ruling issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on September 15, 2010, the order of the trial court was affirmed in all respects.  In addition to the award in the trial court, VALIC is now entitled to an award of its costs of defending the judgment. 

Click to read 2nd Appellate Court Opinion 

Click to read Trial Court’s Ruling

Click to read 1st Appellate Court Opinion

Click to read Trial Court’s Injunction Order

Reilly Pozner LLP serves clients nationwide and is engaged in complex commercial and intellectual property litigation, class actions, civil and criminal litigation, mass torts, personal injury and appellate law.