This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 12/04/2021 at 07:49:02 (UTC).

American Achievement Corp. et al v. Jostens, Inc.

Case Summary

On December 3, 2021, American Achievement Corp. (“AAC”), Taylor Publishing Company (“Taylor”), and Commemorative Brands, Inc. (“CBI,” and “Plaintiffs” or “Balfour”), represented by Jessica J. Nelson of Spencer Fane, filed a personal property lawsuit against Jostens, Inc. (“Jostens” or “Defendant”), seeking damages and injunctive relief along with costs of the action among other relief for the alleged scheme of stealing Balfour’s client and information by the Defendant. This case was filed in the United States District Court in the District of Minnesota. 

 

In the complaint, Plaintiffs alleged that, “This claim arises from Jostens’s concerted and nationwide scheme to unlawfully steal Balfour’s clients and confidential business information by offering Balfour’s sales representatives extremely lucrative payoffs to violate their non-competition agreements en masse and solicit their former clients and territories to transfer their business to Jostens. Specifically, over the past five months, Jostens has hired away more than twenty of Balfour’s sales representatives, all of whom were subject to reasonable and enforceable non-compete agreements, and has put them to work competing with Balfour for the very same clients and regions they previously serviced on Balfour’s behalf—in flagrant violation of their agreements.”

 

Plaintiffs also alleged that, “As a result of this scheme, and despite explicit contractual language precluding Balfour’s former sales representatives from directly or indirectly soliciting Balfour clients within the territories they previously serviced for Balfour, a significant majority of Balfour’s clients serviced by the poached representatives have transferred their business away from Balfour—resulting in losses of more than one thousand different clients and more than $10 million in annual revenue. Although Balfour is still grappling with the fallout of this tortious scheme, it is apparent that the vast majority of these former clients transferred their service to Jostens.”

 

Plaintiffs further alleged that, “Rather than competing fairly, Jostens has made the cynical determination that, instead of laying out substantial amounts of money and waiting years to patiently build goodwill with customers, it is cheaper and easier to seduce Balfour’s representatives to breach their non-competition agreements with enormous bonuses than to invest in the initial relationship-building” and “The representatives Jostens has poached have succumbed to this offer and engaged in open and overt breaches of their non-compete agreements, soliciting their former Balfour clients to transfer their business to Jostens or coordinating with Jostens employees to engage in a “soft hand-off” of clients. Demonstrating the unlawfulness of its own plot, Jostens even offered to indemnify some of the key Balfour sales representatives when Balfour inevitably sued.”

 

There are four claims of relief laid down by Plaintiffs. The first claim is for the alleged tortious interference with contractual relations with representatives. The second claim is for the alleged tortious interference with Balfour client contracts and business relations. The third claim is for the alleged violation of Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Minn. Stat. § 325D.43, et seq. The fourth claim is for the alleged violation of Minnesota Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Minn. Stat. § 325C, et seq. 

 

In the prayer for relief, Plaintiffs requested the court for a judgment against Jostens for monetary and punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial, injunctive relief, interest, costs of this action, attorney’s fees, and for all further relief the court deems just and proper.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    0:21-CV-02613

  • Filing Date:

    12/03/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Personal Property

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

American Achievement Corp.

Taylor Publishing Company

Commemorative Brands, Inc.

Defendant

Jostens, Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Jessica J Nelson

Attorney at Spencer Fane

100 South Fifth Stsuite 2500

Minneapolis, MN 55402

 

Court Documents

#1

(#1) COMPLAINT against Jostens, Inc. (filing fee $ 402, receipt number AMNDC-9187120) filed by American Achievement Corp., Commemorative Brands, Inc., Taylor Publishing Company. Filer requests summons issued. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit(s) 1, #2 Exhibit(s) 2, #3 Exhibit(s) 3, #4 Exhibit(s) 4, #5 Civil Cover Sheet) (Nelson, Jessica) (Entered: 12/03/2021)

1 #1

Exhibit(s) 1

1 #2

Exhibit(s) 2

1 #3

Exhibit(s) 3

1 #4

Exhibit(s) 4

1 #5

Civil Cover Sheet

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/03/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against Jostens, Inc. (filing fee $ 402, receipt number AMNDC-9187120) filed by American Achievement Corp., Commemorative Brands, Inc., Taylor Publishing Company. Filer requests summons issued. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit(s) 1, #2 Exhibit(s) 2, #3 Exhibit(s) 3, #4 Exhibit(s) 4, #5 Civil Cover Sheet) (Nelson, Jessica) (Entered: 12/03/2021)

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