Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wyles v. Sussman

United States District Court, D. Colorado

July 9, 2018

TERRENCE M. WYLES, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLEN ZACHARY SUSSMAN, LOEB & LOEB L.L.P., ALUMINAID INTERNATIONAL, A.G., WEST HILLS RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT, INC. f/k/a Aluminaid, Inc., ALUMINAID PTE LTD a/k/a Advanced First Aid Research PTE LTD, CARL J. FREER, JAMES JOHN HUNT, ADAM FREER aka Adam Agerstam, JULIA FREER-AGERSTAM aka Julia Freer aka Julia Agerstam, DAVID ANDREW WARNOCK, ALEX ARENDT, JOE MARTEN, and THOMAS D. BRADY aka Tom Brady, Defendants.

          ORDER on MOTIONS TO DISMISS

          R. Brooke Jackson United States District Judge

         Defendants Allen Z. Sussman and Loeb & Loeb, LLP (the “Loeb defendants”) and Thomas D. Brady move to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). The Loeb defendants' motion is denied. Mr. Brady's motion is granted.

         BACKGROUND

         Terrence M. Wyles is a Colorado attorney. According to his Amended Complaint, in May 2012 he was hired to be the chief in-house counsel for Aluminaid, Inc., a Delaware corporation which at that time had its principal place of business in Snowmass Village, Colorado. See ECF No. 27-11 (Aluminaid, Inc. Periodic Report, filed with the Colorado Secretary of State on January 17, 2013). Another Aluminaid company, Aluminaid International, A.G., also had its principal place of business in Colorado at that time. Wyles Aff., ECF No. 27-1, ¶3.[1]

         Mr. Wyles alleges that after his engagement as in-house counsel he discovered that defendant Carl Freer, the CEO of the company, and other individuals were misappropriating or embezzling corporate funds. However, his attempts to bring attention to the misconduct were greeted with efforts to intimidate and defame him, including among other things accusations that he had engaged in sexual harassment of a female employee. Ultimately his employment was terminated.

         On July 26, 2013 defendant West Hills Research & Development, Inc., formerly known as Aluminaid, Inc., and Aluminaid International, AG sued Mr. Wyles in state court in California, alleging fraud and misappropriation of trade secrets. By then Aluminaid had relocated its headquarters to California.

         In turn Mr. Wyles, on March 6, 2014, sued Aluminaid International, A.G.; West Hills Research & Development, Aluminaid PTE Ltd, Mr. Freer and others in the Arapahoe County, Colorado District Court. See Complaint, ECF No. 15-1. He asserted claims of (1) breach of contract, (2) violation of the Colorado Wage Act, (3) libel and slander, (4) wrongful termination, (5) interference with contract/prospective economic advantage, (6) shareholder derivative action, (7) fraudulent transfers, (8) abuse of process, and (9) joint liability.

         On February 26, 2015 Mr. Wyles sued essentially the same group of defendants in this district. Wyles v. Aluminaid International, et al., No. 15-cv-00393-CMA-KMT. In addition to the nine claims he was simultaneously prosecuting in his state court case he asserted claims of misrepresentation and negligence. See ECF No. 1 in No. 15-cv-00393-CMA-KMT. The court dismissed Mr. Wyles' claims on grounds of improper claim splitting, but the Tenth Circuit vacated the dismissal order and remanded for further proceedings. Wyles v. Sussman, 661 Fed.Appx. 548 (2016) (unpublished). Nevertheless, the parties eventually stipulated to the dismissal of the federal case without prejudice. See ECF Nos. 61 and 62 in that case.

         The California lawsuit against Mr. Wyles was dismissed on October 27, 2016. That dismissal seems to have motivated Mr. Wyles' filing of the present case on August 1, 2017. Mr. Wyles again sued nearly the same group of defendants, adding Joseph Marten and Thomas D. Brady. ECF No. 1. In his Amended Complaint, now the operative complaint, Mr. Wyles asserts three claims for relief: (1) malicious prosecution, (2) outrageous conduct; and (3) joint liability. ECF No. 6. Apparently Mr. Wyles had tried to amend his state court complaint to add those claims but filed the present case when he struck out in Arapahoe County.

         Finally, as a hedge against this Court's ultimate decision on the two pending jurisdictional motions, Mr. Wyles filed essentially a carbon copy of the present suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. No. 2:17-cv-07722-DMG-SK. When informed of the filing of that case this Court inquired whether he still planned to go forward with the present case, since there are apparently no personal jurisdiction issues to be faced in California. He responded that he preferred to proceed in the present case due to differences in the states' procedures for substitute service of process. ECF No. 57.

         MOTIONS TO DISMISS

         Defendant Allen Z. Sussman is a corporate lawyer and a partner in the Los Angeles office of the law firm, Loeb & Loeb, L.L.P. Plaintiff alleges that he is, or at least at times pertinent was, both the principal outside counsel for Aluminaid, its Corporate Secretary, and a member of its board of directors. Plaintiff claims that Mr. Sussman and his law firm, the “Loeb defendants, ” participated in the prosecution of the California case that was dismissed. Mr. Sussman is a resident and citizen of the State of California. Loeb & Loeb has no Colorado office. Mr. Sussman denies that he is or was the Corporate Secretary of the defendant corporations. In any event, the Loeb defendants deny that they do business in Colorado or otherwise have sufficient minimum contacts with Colorado to support personal jurisdiction here, and they move to dismiss on that basis. ECF No. 15.

         Plaintiff claims that Thomas D. Brady, a retired captain in the Los Angeles Fire Department, was a member of Aluminaid's “Advisory Board” starting in 2012 and continuing at least to 2015. Wyles Aff., ECF No. 27-1, at 2-3, ¶6. He too, according to Mr. Wyles, was involved in the prosecution of the California state court case. Mr. Brady has moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. ECF No. 17.

         The motions have been fully briefed. The Court held an evidentiary ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.