Our team recently obtained a great result for a group of seller and business broker clients in a lawsuit over the sale of an insurance agency. Our clients were facing nearly $3 million in damages after being accused of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and other claims.
The lawsuit was filed by Frisco, Texas-based CLA USA Property and Casualty Group against our clients from Dallas-based CapRock Services, which provides financing for small businesses, and Sarasota, Florida-based General Insurance Brokerage, LLC, which specializes in brokering the sale of insurance agencies.
Business Lawsuit Background
The dispute arose after General Insurance Brokerage identified Irving, Texas-based Innovative National Risk, LLC, as a potential CLA acquisition target. CLA bought the company from CapRock in 2014.
Shortly after the sale, CLA claimed, among other things, that Innovate National Risk’s operations failed to comply with state and federal laws. CLA argued that it was left holding the bag, accusing our clients of conspiring to make the sale happen so that CapRock could divest itself of the insurance agency and General Insurance Brokerage could collect commission payments.
How We Won
We were brought into the case late to represent CapRock and General Insurance Brokerage, which previously had been defended by separate lawyers.
Together, Brad Jackson and Cheryl Mann began an aggressive defense that resulted in the court striking the testimony of CLA’s expert witnesses, including an attorney, an actuary and a certified fraud examiner. We also convinced the court to enforce a jury trial waiver because we believed that our defense of CLA’s complicated and convoluted claims would be best understood by an experienced trial judge.
By the third day of trial before the Honorable Tonya Parker of the 116th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, we had clearly proven that General Insurance Brokerage, CapRock, and their principals, who CLA had sued personally as well, had done nothing wrong. That same day, CLA voluntarily dismissed all its claims and agreed to pay $200,000 to our client CapRock.
Cases like these are why we come to work every day. Our clients had their backs against the wall, facing millions of dollars in potential damages. We were able to devise an aggressive and effective defense that resulted in the complete vindication of our clients.