United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO, United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to
Dismiss the Counterclaim. (ECF #16). For the foregoing
reasons, the Court denies Plaintiffs' Motion.
3, 2018, Plaintiff Peter Pappas and his minor daughter E.P.
filed their Complaint in this Court, alleging Breach of
Fiduciary Duty under the Employment Retirement Income
Security Act (“ERISA”), Civil RICO under 18
U.S.C. § 1964, Retaliation in violation of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Ohio law,
Failure to Pay Timely Wages under Ohio law, Ohio Corrupt
Practices Act violation, Civil Conspiracy under Ohio law,
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Fraud and
Conversion in violation of Ohio law, Breach of Implied
Contract, Promissory Estoppel and Unjust Enrichment against
Defendants. On December 27, 2018, Defendants filed their
Answer and Counterclaim. The Counterclaim is brought on
behalf of Defendants GPSI Properties, LLC., FMI Products,
LLC. and Fulton Properties of Ohio, LLC. Defendants'
Counterclaim alleges a single claim for Tortious Interference
with Business Relations and seeks damages in the amount of
$2, 000, 000.00.
Factual Allegations of Plaintiffs'
to Plaintiffs' Complaint, Plaintiff Peter Pappas became
General Manager of Defendant Fulton Manufacturing Industries,
LLC in 2004 and later served as General Manager for the other
related Defendant companies. As General Manager, Pappas
reported to Defendant John G. Medas. During his employment,
Pappas was covered under Defendants' group health
insurance. The health plan required employees to pay a
portion of their health insurance premiums. Defendants
withheld the employee-owed health insurance premiums from
employee paychecks. Medas and FMI Companies were responsible
for sending the health insurance premiums to the health
insurance provider. Sometime in 2016, Defendants stopped
sending the premium payments to the insurance provider but
continued withholding the premiums from employee paychecks.
E.P. is Peter Pappas' minor daughter who was insured
under the FMI health insurance plan. E.P. suffers from severe
and progressive scoliosis and in 2016 required surgery on her
spine. Her surgery was scheduled for October 2016 but in
September 2016 Pappas discovered his health insurance had
been cancelled because Defendants stopped paying the
premiums. As a result E.P.'s surgery was delayed until
2017, Defendants fell behind in paying their employees. When
Pappas complained, Medas fired him.
Allegations of Counterclaim
to Defendants' Counterclaim, Defendants are all Ohio
limited liability companies with GPSI providing equipment and
tooling for the manufacture of electrical terminals used
primarily in cars and FMI using the equipment and tooling of
GPSI to produce electrical terminals. Plaintiff Peter Pappas
was employed by Defendant FMI as an Engineering Manager. In
2017 Pappas was employed by FMI as its General Manager.
February of 2018, GPSI received an offer to purchase some of
its equipment and tooling for Connector ID, LLC., which was
operated by Jim Pasquale. Around this time, GPSI's
President, John Medas, became aware that Pappas was failing
to perform his duties as Manager by failing to order raw
material to satisfy customer orders, failing to respond to
customer quote requests and knowingly processing customer
orders at prices below the correct pricing. According to
Defendants, Pappas was undermining FMI's business by
creating losses that would negatively impact the value of
FMI's business assets, in particular the terminal product
line. This was done to interfere with the potential sale to
Connector ID, LLC. at a fair price.
informed Medas he was quitting FMI on October 30, 2017. On
November 8, 2018, Pappas asked Medas to be reinstated as an
employee of FMI. Medas agreed and Pappas returned to work at
FMI through February 17, 2018, when Pappas was discharged for
threatening Medas and for his continued efforts to undermine
the business of FMI. Subsequently, Pappas, in concert with
Pasquale, attempted to purchase the same GPSI assets that
were the subject of the potential sale between GPSI and
Connector ID, LLC. The offer was rejected and Pappas made a
number of allegations against Defendants in an affidavit to
have a receiver appointed. He then attempted to purchase the
same assets of FMI. Defendants allege these acts constitute
of Review for Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
deciding a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the
court must accept as true all of the factual allegations
contained in the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). ...