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McGill v. Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.

United States District Court, Western District of Washington, Seattle

April 17, 2015

ALVIN L. McGILL, Plaintiff,
v.
CRUMP LIFE INSURANCE SERVICES, INC. d/b/a/ TIME A CRUMP CO., a Pennsylvania corporation, ., Defendants.

ORDER OF REMAND

RICARDO S. MARTINEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court sua sponte. The Court has reviewed Plaintiff’s Complaint (Dkt. #1-2) and Defendants’ Notice of Removal (Dkt. #1). For the reasons set forth herein, the Court is not convinced that subject matter jurisdiction exists in this Court, and therefore the matter is REMANDED to King County Superior Court.

II. BACKGROUND

On April 15, 2015, Plaintiff filed an employment action in King County Superior Court against Defendants. Dkt. #1-2. The essential dispute in the matter involves the enforceability of certain non-solicitation agreements. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he has been a gainfully employed licensed life insurance and securities agent since approximately 1984. Dkt. #1-2 at ¶ 3.2. From 1984 to 2009, Mr. McGill developed extensive contacts, business associates, business referral sources, and relationships with firms in the insurance and financial services industry. Id. at ¶ 3.3. In 2009, Crump solicited Mr. McGill for employment with the company as a Regional Specialist. Thereafter, Crump and Mr. McGill engaged in negotiations concerning, among other things, which of Mr. McGill’s prior contacts, business associates, business referral sources, and relationships with firms would be excluded from Crump’s non-compete/non-solicit agreement. Id. at ¶ 3.4. Mr. McGill signed an initial employment agreement that contained certain exclusions (“the Carveout”); however, in subsequent years, he executed agreements that omitted the Carveout. Id. at ¶ ¶ 3.5-3.13 and Exs. 1-3.

On February 27, 2015, Mr. McGill voluntarily resigned his employment with Crump. Id. at ¶ 3.15. Mr. McGill alleges that:

Defendants responded to Mr. McGill’s resignation by, among other wrongful conduct:

3.18.1 Repeatedly calling, writing, and/or otherwise communicating to Mr. McGill’s contacts, business associates, business referral sources, and firms with whom he has relationships, including the Carveout, that Mr. McGill was prohibited from doing business with them;
3.18.2 Repeatedly calling, writing, and/or otherwise communicating to Mr. McGill’s contacts, business associates, business referral sources, and firms with whom he has relationships, including the Carveout, that Crump would take legal action against such individuals and entities if they engaged in business with Mr. McGill;
3.18.3 Wrongfully publicizing private and confidential information concerning Mr. McGill’s compensation structure to third parties, including but not limited to Mr. McGill’s current employer;
3.18.4 Wrongfully and maliciously accusing Mr. McGill of misappropriating Crump property;
3.18.5 Wrongfully and maliciously causing a Form U5 to be filed with FINRA stating that Mr. McGill was “Discharged” and was “...under internal review for fraud or wrongful taking of property or violating investment related statutes, regulations, rules or industry standards of conduct” thereby directly and proximately causing Mr. McGill’s securities licensure to be put under review and/or otherwise rejected in multiple states, including but not limited to Washington state;
3.18.6 On information and belief, refusing to pay Mr. McGill wages and compensation due and ...

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