Pinnacle Surety claims attorneys breached fiduciary duty and interfered with business relationship
LOUISVILLE, KY (April 26, 2018) – Pinnacle Surety, a professional surety bond agency, today announced that its lawsuit against G. Bruce Stigger, Manion Stigger LLP, Rex H. Eilliott and Cooper & Elliott LLC continues. In a recent ruling, U.S. District Court, Judge David J. Hale ordered that Pinnacle can move forward with its claim that the attorneys breached their fiduciary duty and intentionally interfered with Pinnacle’s business operations. Allegations of civil conspiracy and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty against Stigger, Elliott and their law firms will also move forward.
According to the amended lawsuit, while still representing Pinnacle’s interests, attorneys Stigger and Elliott assisted two employees who chose to start a competing surety bond company with the intention of breaching their employment contract with Pinnacle. Stigger served as the registered agent of the competing entity, according to the complaint.
The original lawsuit states that “clearly during their representation of Pinnacle, Defendants acted directly and materially adverse to Pinnacle by encouraging and assisting Pinnacle’s employees . . . to prematurely breach their three-year employment agreement with Pinnacle.”
The lawsuit seeks damages for lost business, profits and opportunities; damage to Pinnacle’s reputation; and punitive damages among other damages and costs.
In another matter, attorneys Charles H. Cooper, Rex H. Elliott and Cooper & Elliott, L.L.C. face fraud and civil conspiracy allegations regarding a 2013 case styled Kathleen Marshall vs. Cooper & Elliott, et al. According to that lawsuit and a recent appeal filed by Marshall, Cooper & Elliott attorneys conspired with Marshall’s ex-husband to conceal assets from the marital estate during their divorce.
According to the appeal, the Law Offices of G. Timothy Marshall, Cooper & Elliott and Michael Dolan were involved as attorneys of record in a class action lawsuit that resulted in attorney fees of more than $1.2 million. The fees were distributed after the Marshalls had separated but before their divorce proceeding began. Cooper & Elliott retained $617,000 of the fees and distributed $308,000 to Dolan and $308,000 to Marshall’s nephew, Anthony O. Calabrese. Calabrese paid Marshall $17,500 of the money received from Cooper & Elliott.