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Seven former Lockton Cos. LLC brokers who were based in California and began working for Alliant Insurance Services Inc. in October, are suing Lockton in federal district court charging the noncompete agreements they signed violated California law.
The similar lawsuits, Jefferey Mazie et al. v. Lockton Cos. LLC. and John Byun et al. v. Lockton Cos. LLC, in which the plaintiffs are represented by the same attorneys, were first filed in state court in California before being transferred to U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to different judges on Tuesday.
Both lawsuits seek a declaration that the noncompete covenants, which provided Missouri, where Lockton is headquartered in Kansas City, as the forum for litigation, is “facially void and unenforceable” under California’s business code.
“Plaintiffs seek a judicial declaration that they may freely and fairly compete against Lockton, including by calling upon, soliciting, accepting, engaging in, servicing or performing business for their actual and prospective clients during their former employment at Lockton”; that California and not Missouri law governs; and that the restrictive covenants are “void and unenforceable” under California’s public policy, the Byun lawsuit says.
The lawsuits cite California Senate bill 699, which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2024, under which noncompete contracts are void, “regardless of whether the contract was signed and the employment was maintained outside of California
Also cited is a proposed Federal Trade Commission regulation that would restrict noncompete clauses in contracts with workers.
Jeff Mazie, formerly a senior vice president at Lockton is now an executive vice president at Alliant, according to LinkedIn. His co-plaintiff, Mark Nieman, a former Lockton senior vice president unit manager, account executive, is now an executive vice president at Alliant.
Mr. Byun, who was a senior vice president at Lockton, is now a senior vice president at Alliant.
His co-plaintiffs are: Adam Weiss, former senior vice president, client services consultant, at Lockton, who is now a first vice president at Alliant; Allen Ngo, formerly senior vice president at Lockton, who holds the same position at Alliant; Matthew Moffitt, former vice president, senior employee benefits consultant, at Lockton, who is now a vice president, account executive at Alliant; and Eric Broberg, senior vice president, president, account executive at Lockton who is now senior vice president at Alliant.
A Lockton spokeswoman had no comment on the litigation.