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Omert v. Freundt & Associates Insurance Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

January 31, 2016

EDWARD OMERT, Plaintiff,
v.
FREUNDT & ASSOCIATES INSURANCE SERVICES, INC., et al., Defendants.

          DONNER LAW ASSOCIATES, LLC By: Jeffrey A. Donner, Esq. and McCUSKER, ANSELMI, ROSEN & CARAVELLI, P.C. By: Bruce S. Rosen, Esq. Bianca M. Olivadoti, Esq. Counsel for Plaintiff.

          CUTI HECKER WANG LLP By: Alexander Goldenberg, Esq. Counsel for Defendant Vincent Vitiello.

          DUGAN, BRINKMANN, MAGINNIS & PACE, ESQS. By: Gerald J. Dugan, Esq. Michael J. Lorusso, Esq. Counsel for Defendants Freundt & Associates Insurance Services, Inc. and C. Kent Freundt.

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         This is primarily a breach of contract suit arising out of an alleged failed business association between Plaintiff Edward Omert and Defendant Freundt & Associates Insurance Services, Inc., trading as The Producers Group (hereinafter “TPG”).[1] As discussed further herein, the other two Defendants, C. Kent Freundt and Vincent Vitiello, are employees of TPG. Omert asserts that Freundt and Vitiello intentionally interfered with Omert's alleged contract with TPG.

         Vitiello moves to dismiss, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the single claim asserted against him personally.[2] For the reasons set forth herein, the Motion will be denied.

         I.

         As alleged in the Complaint, Defendant TPG provides “distribution and other marketing functions” for insurance companies. At all relevant times, Defendant Fruendt allegedly was TPG's “founder, ” “principal shareholder as well as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Manager of TPG on a daily basis.” (Compl. ¶ 3) Defendant Vitiello allegedly was the “Executive Vice- President of the East Coast Division of TPG and then a principal therein referred to as a Partner.” (Id. ¶ 4)

         According to the Complaint, Vitiello contacted Omert in August 2012 to see “whether [Omert] would be interested in growing the Annuity Division of TPG.” (Compl. ¶ 21) Omert allegedly had been very successful in his previous employment in the same industry, and TPG allegedly sought out Omert for his expertise. (Compl. ¶¶ 12, 20-21)

         Many communications and meetings allegedly took place between Omert, Freundt, Vitiello, and others employed by TPG, over the next six months (Compl. ¶ 21-48), which allegedly culminated in a “Term Sheet.” The Term Sheet provided, among other things, that Omert would be “both an employee of TPG and a co-owner” of TPG's new Annuities and Linked Benefits Products Division. (Compl. ¶ 50, Goldenberg Decl. Ex. 1, “Term Sheet”) The Complaint alleges that Omert and Freundt both signed the document. (Compl. ¶ 61-62; see also Goldenberg Decl. Ex. 1 reflecting signatures of “Ed Omert” and someone signing on behalf of “The Producers Group.”)

         Allegedly, the roll-out of the proposed new Division never happened, and in a December 16, 2014 email, Vitiello allegedly “advised Omert that TPG ‘will probably outsource [its] annuity program, ' [and] further commented that ‘it was difficult to pull the trigger in the way we planned.'” (Compl. ¶ 103) The December 16themail is the last alleged communication Omert received from Defendants.

         The Complaint alleges four counts. Counts 1 through 3, asserted against TPG only, are breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment. At issue in this motion is the last count, Count 4-- intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, asserted against Freundt and Vitiello individually.

         II.

         When considering a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Evancho v. Fisher, 423 F.3d 347, 351 (3d Cir. 2005). It is well settled that a pleading is sufficient if it contains ...


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