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.

Western Communication Corp. v. Barnick

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 6, 2018

WESTERN COMMUNICATION CORP., Plaintiff,
v.
ED BARNICK, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S ALTERNATIVE REQUEST TO STRIKE IMPERTINENT, IMMATERIAL, AND SCANDALOUS MATTERS FROM PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (ECF #8)

          MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         In this action, Plaintiff Western Communication Corp. (“Western”) alleges that Defendant Ed Barnick tortiously interfered with business relationships Western had with two customers. (See Am. Compl., ECF #4.) Barnick has filed a motion to dismiss Western's Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. (See Mot. to Dismiss, ECF #8.) In the alternative, Barnick asks the Court to strike certain purportedly impertinent and immaterial allegations from the Amended Complaint. (See id.)

         For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES the motion to the extent it seeks dismissal for failure to state a claim and GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the motion to the extent it seeks to strike allegations from the Amended Complaint.

         I[1]

         A

         Western is a marketing and advertising agency. (See Am. Compl. at ¶5, ECF #4 at Pg. ID 20.) In 2016, Western had contracts and long-standing, multi-year business relationships with two companies: Physician's Technology, LLC (“PT”) and Nature's Health Connection, Inc. (“NHC”). (See id.) As a result of Western's good work on their behalf, PT and NHC experienced dramatic sales growth. (See Id. at ¶¶ 13, 15, Pg. ID 23.)

         Ed Barnick works in logistics and distribution. (See Id. at ¶7, Pg. ID 22.) Barnick worked on various projects with Western for a number of years. (See Id. at ¶8, Pg. ID 22.)

         At various times, Barnick told Western CEO Mark Young that he needed to find additional work. (See Id. at ¶10, Pg. ID 22.) In an effort to help Barnick, Young introduced Barnick to executives at PT and NHC. (See Id. at ¶16, Pg. ID 23-24.) Young believed that Barnick could assist PT and NHC with logistics and distribution, and he recommended that PT and NHC hire Barnick for specific, short term projects. (See id.) Based on Young's recommendation, PT and NHC hired Barnick as an independent contractor for some limited projects. (See Id. at ¶17, Pg. ID 24.)

         B

         Barnick wanted to expand his role at both PT and NHC, and he hoped to become an employee of NHC. (See Id. at ¶21, Pg. ID 24.) To achieve that objective, he sought to ingratiate himself with both companies by, among other things, identifying the causes of certain problems and challenges they were facing. (See Id. at ¶¶ 21-22, Pg. ID 24.) As relevant here, Barnick sought to curry favor with PT and NHC by falsely telling them that Western's quality of work was poor, that Young sought to take over both companies, and that Western was overbilling PT and NHC. (See Id. at ¶¶ 23-27, 32, Pg. ID 25-27.) Finally, Barnick offered to help both companies obtain a better advertising agency that, he claimed, would save them money. (See Id. at ¶¶ 23, 30, 33, 35, Pg. ID 25-27.)

         Based on Barnick's conduct, PT and NHC terminated their respective relationships with Western. (See Id. at ¶¶ 23, 31, 33, Pg. ID 25-27.) Barnick then steered NHC and PT to another advertising agency with which he had a relationship. (See Id. at ¶35, Pg. ID 27.) Western thereafter filed suit against PT and NHC in separate actions in Michigan state court for money due under their respective contracts. (See Id. at ¶¶ 36-37, Pg. ID 27-28.) Barnick assisted PT and NHC with obtaining counsel to defend against Western's claims and to file counterclaims against Western. (See id.)

         C

         Western subsequently filed this action against Barnick for tortiously interfering with its business relationships with PT and NHC. (See Am. Compl., ECF #4.) On March 12, 2018, Barnick filed a motion to dismiss Western's Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (See Mot. to Dismiss, ECF #8.) Barnick alternatively requests that the Court strike impertinent and immaterial ...


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.