A great American landed on lawsuit against a marketing agency
A unit of Great American Insurance Group is not obligated to defend or indemnify a marketing agency in litigation over a failed franchise agreement, a federal district court has ruled.
In 2018, Beyond Gravity Media Inc., based in Moorcock, Calif., Contracted with Code Ninjas LLC, based in Pearland, Texas, which teaches computer programming coding, math, logic, and digital work. team to kids, to open Code Ninjas center franchises, according to Wednesday’s decision. by the United States District Court in Galveston, Texas, in Great American Insurance Company v. Beyond Gravity Media, Inc.
A little over a year later, Beyond Gravity and its sole shareholder, Branden Matalon, attempted to terminate franchise agreements, alleging violations of California law and seeking damages, according to the ruling.
Code Ninjas filed a lawsuit in Galveston court alleging that Beyond Gravity and Mr. Matalon received confidential and proprietary information from Code Ninja through its training programs, annual franchise conference and other communications.
The lawsuit accused they had hijacked Code Ninja’s confidential information and trademark to create and advertise a competing education center.
The parties ultimately reached a confidential settlement agreement and Code Ninjas voluntarily dismissed the complaint.
Prior to their settlement, insurer Beyond Gravity Great American filed a lawsuit in Galveston court, seeking a declaration that it had no obligation to defend the company and Mr. Matalon.
The court ruled in favor of the insurer. The court said it agreed with the insurer that none of the allegations in the underlying complaint involved bodily injury or injury to property that would be covered by its commercial liability policy, nor that there was no coverage under its personal injury provision and advertising. “Express” policy exclusions also prevent coverage, according to the ruling.
“Because Great American has established that the exclusion of the policy completely relieves it of its duty of defense, Great American therefore has no obligation to indemnify the defendants,” said the ruling, awarding the insurer summary judgment in the case.
Lawyers handling the case did not respond to requests for comment.
Great American is the real estate insurer of the Surfside, Florida condominium that collapsed in June.