Johnson & Bell Shareholders, Joseph R. Marconi and Peter R. Ryndak, successfully defended a home healthcare provider against an alleged breach of contract claim. Plaintiff claimed that it was entitled to a $1.7 million finder’s fee in exchange for information that led to a $5 million per year VA contract. Prior to any disclosure of the purported confidential opportunity, our client entered into the contract, agreeing to pay a 5% finder’s fee to plaintiff, if it secured the business. The finder’s fee claim centered around two allegations: 1) that plaintiff performed its obligation by providing our client with confidential and proprietary information which ultimately led to the procurement of the business opportunity; and 2) as a result, the contract obligated our client to pay plaintiff 5% of gross revenues generated for as long as the business opportunity existed.
Our attorneys contended that the information provided by plaintiff was a matter of public knowledge and was neither confidential nor proprietary. We also successfully argued that even if the contract was enforceable, any fee owing to the plaintiff was cut off by the sale of our client’s assets, including the finder’s fee contract. Finally, we demonstrated that the claimed 5% should be construed to apply to net profits and not gross revenues, as claimed by plaintiff. Since plaintiff only sought 5% of gross revenues and plaintiff did not offer any evidence as to what net profits were generated by the business opportunity, the court found that plaintiff did not prove its damages and was not entitled to collect anything.
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