A New Jersey judge has dismissed a 2019 lawsuit that Realogy filed against a former finance executive and brokerage competitor Compass.
Realogy requested the lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice last week, according to the filing, as the previously granted temporary injunction essentially satisfied the terms of the non-compete.
“Plaintiff claims voluntary dismissal with prejudice is appropriate because it is satisfied with the equitable relief already granted by the court and argues a dismissal pursuant to its proposed order would alleviate any prejudice to defendants,” the motion, filed by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Maritza Berdote Byrne, reads.
The amended lawsuit, filed July 15, alleged Urvin Pandya, a former finance executive, left Realogy in May of 2019 to join Compass. The latter allegedly created a ‘dummy’ position and worked with Pandya to find a location for the job to help Pandya to skirt around the restrictions of his restrictive covenant agreement, which barred him from taking a similar position at a competitor and within a certain radius.
In September 2019, Berdote Byrne granted the temporary injunction and ruled that Compass was complicit in accepting proprietary information and creating the ‘dummy’ position.
Realogy declined to comment on the decision, which was first reported by The Real Deal, but Compass, which had attempted to compel discovery in the case, celebrated the ruling.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision to dismiss this case with prejudice,” a spokesperson for Compass said in a statement.
“While there remain parties within our industry that choose to use their resources to stifle progress through litigation, Compass will continue to invest in software and services that help real estate agents grow their businesses and better serve their clients.”
Despite Compass’ statement, the New York City-founded real estate brokerage had actually attempted to compel discovery and extend the discovery date. Compass’ lawyers argued that Realogy was attempting to escape discovery obligations and deprive Compass of the right of finality in filing the motion.
The lawsuit was separate from the over-arching lawsuit Realogy filed against Compass around the same time, which alleged Compass has engaged in “unfair business practices and illegal schemes to gain market share at all costs and to damage, or even eliminate, competition.”
Last week, New York State Supreme Court Judge Barry Ostrager denied the latter’s motion to dismiss the complaint and attempt to compel the two sides into arbitration concerning certain claims in the lawsuit.
A source close to Compass said the company’s legal team believes Realogy should be precluded from relitigating these specific issues as part of its broader lawsuit.