This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 12/04/2021 at 09:12:20 (UTC).

DeSola v. Hodes et al

Case Summary

On October 5, 2021, DeSola (“DeSola” or “Plaintiff”), represented by James Anthony Gale of Cozen O. Connor, filed an Antitrust Action against Robert Hodes (“Hodes”), Ocean Consulting Group Inc. (“OCG”) and Cost Containment Group (“CCG”), (collectively “Defendants”), seeking permanent injunctive relief and declaratory relief along with prejudgment and post-judgement interest among other relief for the alleged conspiracy of Defendants to restrain trade and commerce. This case was filed in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Florida. 

In the complaint, Plaintiff alleged that, “Mr. DeSola is a licensed insurance agent whose employment was improperly terminated due to an illegal “no-poach” agreement between Defendants and their competitors. This action is brought under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, challenging naked no-poaching agreements orchestrated between and among Defendants Hodes, OCG, CCG, and their competitors. Defendants and their competitors agreed that Defendants’ competitors would not solicit or hire—or even contact--any employees or independent contractors of Defendants’ enterprise (hereinafter, the “No-Hire Agreements” or “No-Poach Agreements”).”

Plaintiff further alleged that, “Hodes and his fellow defendants entered into illegal, naked "no-poaching" agreements with competitors, preventing insurance agents from ever working for competitors. Despite the fact that these naked, no-poaching arrangements have been specifically identified and targeted for investigation and prosecution by the Department of Justice, Hodes and his fellow defendants nevertheless employed one of the country's most prominent lawyers to intimidate and coerce their competitors to comply with these unlawful agreements” and “The goal of Hodes and his fellow defendants is to ensure that their inferior high-margin, low benefit insurance-type products will continue to be the only products available to their network and so that competitors can never engage defendants’ former employees and independent contractors to offer consumers better policies.”

Plaintiff also alleged that, “DeSola formerly worked indirectly as a licensed insurance agent for Defendants’ enterprise. As part of that enterprise, DeSola sold health care products with limited benefits that were offered and administered by Defendants and marketed by Insurance Care Direct, LLC (“ICD”) and administered by the Defendants. DeSola was laid off in November 2018” and “DeSola began indirectly working as a licensed insurance agent for a competitor of Defendants’ Enterprise that offered more competitive insurance products at better rates than those offered by Defendants and ICD” and “In April 2020, Defendants’ competitors terminated DeSola due to threats from Defendant Hodes and ICD that the Defendants and their enterprise would have David Boies and the Boies Schiller law firm sue DeSola’s new indirect employer if it did not immediately terminate DeSola.”

There is one claim of relief laid down by Plaintiff for the alleged violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, et seq. 

In the prayer for relief, Plaintiff requested the court for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and declaratory relief along with damages, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 15, in an amount that is threefold the damages sustained by Plaintiff along with prejudgment and post-judgment interest on such monetary relief. Plaintiff also requested the court for reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs and any other relief the court deems just and proper.

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    9:21-CV-81869

  • Filing Date:

    10/05/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Antitrust

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Rodney Smith

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Francis DeSola

Defendants

Robert Hodes

Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.

1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, Ste. 810

West Palm Beach, FL 33401-2323

Cost Containment Group, Inc.

1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, Ste 810

West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

James Anthony Gale

Attorney at Cozen O Connor

2 South Biscayne Blvd, 3000

David Martin Stahl

Attorney at Cozen O'Connor

200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 3000

Miami, FL 33131

Jonathan Edward Gale

Attorney at Cozen O'Connor

200 South Biscayne Blvd., 30Th Floor

Miami, FL 33131

Samuel Abraham Lewis

Attorney at Cozen O'Connor

One Biscayne Tower, 2 S. Biscayne Blvd., 30Th Floor

Miami, FL 33131

David H. Reichenberg

Attorney at Cozen O'Connor

3 Wtc, 175 Greenwich Street, 56Th Floor

New York, NY 10006

Defendant Attorneys

Benjamin Joseph Biard

Attorney at Winget, Spadafora & Schwartzberg, LLP

One Southeast Third Avenue, Suite 1950

Miami, FL 33131

Brittany Paige Borck

Attorney at Winget Spadafora Schwartzberg

14 Ne 1St Ave, Suite 600

Miami, FL 33132

 

Court Documents

#12

(#12) ORDER REQUIRING JOINT SCHEDULING REPORT, CERTIFICATES OF INTERESTED PARTIES AND CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS Joint Scheduling Report due by 12/16/2021 Signed by Judge Rodney Smith on 12/16/2021. See attached document for full details. (cqs) (Entered: 11/15/2021)

#11

(#11) NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Brittany Paige Borck on behalf of Cost Containment Group, Inc., Robert Hodes, Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.. Attorney Brittany Paige Borck added to party Cost Containment Group, Inc.(pty:dft), Attorney Brittany Paige Borck added to party Robert Hodes(pty:dft), Attorney Brittany Paige Borck added to party Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.(pty:dft). (Borck, Brittany) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

#9

(#9) NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Benjamin Joseph Biard on behalf of Cost Containment Group, Inc., Robert Hodes, Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.. Attorney Benjamin Joseph Biard added to party Cost Containment Group, Inc.(pty:dft), Attorney Benjamin Joseph Biard added to party Robert Hodes(pty:dft), Attorney Benjamin Joseph Biard added to party Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.(pty:dft). (Biard, Benjamin) (Entered: 11/11/2021)

8 #1

Exhibit Waiver of Service on R Hodes

8 #8

Main Document

7 #1

Exhibit Waiver of Service on CCG

7 #7

Main Document

6 #1

Exhibit Waiver of Service on OCG

6 #6

Main Document

5 #2

Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order

5 #1

Certification of David H. Reichenberg

5 #5

Main Document

#4

(#4) Bar Letter re: Admissions sent to attorney David H. Reichenberg, mailing date October 6, 2021, (pt) (Entered: 10/06/2021)

#3

(#3) Summons Issued as to Cost Containment Group, Inc., Robert Hodes, Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.. (cds) (Entered: 10/06/2021)

1 #10

Summon(s) Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.

1 #8

Civil Cover Sheet

1 #5

Exhibit E - NCE Termination Letter

1 #1

Main Document

19 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 11/15/2021
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  • Docket(#12) ORDER REQUIRING JOINT SCHEDULING REPORT, CERTIFICATES OF INTERESTED PARTIES AND CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS Joint Scheduling Report due by 12/16/2021 Signed by Judge Rodney Smith on 12/16/2021. See attached document for full details. (cqs) (Entered: 11/15/2021)

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  • 11/12/2021
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  • Docket(#11) NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Brittany Paige Borck on behalf of Cost Containment Group, Inc., Robert Hodes, Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.. Attorney Brittany Paige Borck added to party Cost Containment Group, Inc.(pty:dft), Attorney Brittany Paige Borck added to party Robert Hodes(pty:dft), Attorney Brittany Paige Borck added to party Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.(pty:dft). (Borck, Brittany) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

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  • 11/11/2021
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  • Docket(#10) PAPERLESS ORDER granting #5 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consent to Designation, and Request to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing for Attorney David H. Reichenberg. Signed by Judge Rodney Smith on 11/11/2021. (tcl) (Entered: 11/11/2021)

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  • 11/11/2021
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  • Docket(#9) NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Benjamin Joseph Biard on behalf of Cost Containment Group, Inc., Robert Hodes, Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.. Attorney Benjamin Joseph Biard added to party Cost Containment Group, Inc.(pty:dft), Attorney Benjamin Joseph Biard added to party Robert Hodes(pty:dft), Attorney Benjamin Joseph Biard added to party Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.(pty:dft). (Biard, Benjamin) (Entered: 11/11/2021)

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  • 10/21/2021
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  • Docket(#8) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Francis DeSola. Robert Hodes waiver sent on 10/6/2021, response/answer due 12/6/2021. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit Waiver of Service on R Hodes)(Gale, James) (Entered: 10/21/2021)

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  • 10/21/2021
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  • Docket(#7) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Francis DeSola. Cost Containment Group, Inc. waiver sent on 10/6/2021, response/answer due 12/6/2021. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit Waiver of Service on CCG)(Gale, James) (Entered: 10/21/2021)

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  • 10/21/2021
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  • Docket(#6) WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Francis DeSola. Ocean Consulting Group, Inc. waiver sent on 10/6/2021, response/answer due 12/6/2021. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit Waiver of Service on OCG)(Gale, James) (Entered: 10/21/2021)

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  • 10/07/2021
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  • Docket(#5) MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice, Consent to Designation, and Request to Electronically Receive Notices of Electronic Filing for David H. Reichenberg. Filing Fee $ 200.00 Receipt # AFLSDC-15076822 by Francis DeSola. Responses due by 10/21/2021 (Attachments: #1 Certification of David H. Reichenberg, #2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Gale, James) (Entered: 10/07/2021)

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  • 10/06/2021
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  • Docket(#4) Bar Letter re: Admissions sent to attorney David H. Reichenberg, mailing date October 6, 2021, (pt) (Entered: 10/06/2021)

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  • 10/06/2021
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  • Docket(#3) Summons Issued as to Cost Containment Group, Inc., Robert Hodes, Ocean Consulting Group, Inc.. (cds) (Entered: 10/06/2021)

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  • 10/05/2021
  • Docket(#2) Clerks Notice of Judge Assignment to Judge Rodney Smith. Pursuant to 28 USC 636(c), the parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Magistrate Judge William Matthewman is available to handle any or all proceedings in this case. If agreed, parties should complete and file the Consent form found on our website. It is not necessary to file a document indicating lack of consent. Pro se (NON-PRISONER) litigants may receive Notices of Electronic Filings (NEFS) via email after filing a Consent by Pro Se Litigant (NON-PRISONER) to Receive Notices of Electronic Filing. The consent form is available under the forms section of our website. (cds) (Entered: 10/06/2021)

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  • 10/05/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against All Defendants. Filing fees $ 402.00 receipt number AFLSDC-15069607, filed by Francis DeSola. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A - Department of Justices Antirust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals, #2 Exhibit B- Letter from David Boies, #3 Exhibit C - Declaration of Robert Hodes, #4 Exhibit D - Program Management & Marketing Agreement, #5 Exhibit E - NCE Termination Letter, #6 Exhibit F - Hodes Email, #7 Exhibit G- PAS Termination Letter, #8 Civil Cover Sheet, #9 Summon(s) Robert Hodes, #10 Summon(s) Ocean Consulting Group, Inc., #11 Summon(s) Cost Containment Group, Inc.)(Gale, James) (Entered: 10/05/2021)

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