On April 2, 2020, PSD won a motion to transfer federal court claims from Michigan to Maine. In the case, a former employee sued Legacy Global Sports, LP and Premier Sports Events, LLC. By his complaint, the employee sought millions of dollars from PSD’s clients, PSE and Legacy. The former employee claimed he had been discriminated against as a male. Furthermore, he alleged breaches of certain employment and bonus agreements. Prior to the events he complained about, this employee joined the business as part of a buyout of a company he started.
Forum Selection Clause
Importantly, the Purchase & Sale Agreement contained a forum selection clause requiring the resolution of any dispute between the parties in a Maine court. By contrast, the employee signed that agreement for the corporate seller. With respect to the P&S Agreement, he did not sign in his individual capacity. His employment and bonus agreements contained choice-of-law provisions that provided for the application of Maine law. Those agreements lacked forum selection clauses.
Despite the presence of individual claims, the federal court found the former employee “closely related” to the selling party and personally bound by the forum selection clause in the P&S Agreement. The ruling applied even for claims arising under his employment agreement and bonus agreement.
The federal court explained:
Lukasak did not personally sign the P&S Agreement. However, he admits that he was intimately related to the P&S Agreement: He signed the P&S Agreement twice, in his capacity as representative of both Premier Sports Events, Inc, and Premier Sports Events, LLC. In doing so, Lukasak represented the entirety of the seller side of the agreement. He was closely involved in the buyout deal, as evidenced by the fact that he negotiated the deal on the seller side. The buyout was the sole motivating factor for the creation of both his Employment Agreement and his Bonus Incentive Agreement: Without the buyout, the supplemental contracts that bind Lukasak personally would not exist. Taking all these facts together, it is clear to the Court that all of the contracts signed on February 1, 2014 were part of the same transaction and that they form one agreement.
As a result, the case will proceed if at all in Maine. Click here for a copy of the decision.