3Phase Elevator Corp. et al. v. Wrenn et al. (D. Mass. 22-cv-11297).

  • August 17, 2022

Elevator companies 3Phase and Eagle Elevator Company sued Legacy Elevator Company and its owners, the Wrenns, of misusing the Eagle name and usurping the goodwill of the Eagle business following the sale of the business to 3Phase.  3Phase is a national elevator and escalator installer and service provider.  In February 2021, 3Phase purchased Eagle along with Eagle’s entire customer base and associated goodwill for $20 million.  As a part of the sale, each of the Wrenn defendants agreed that they, their family and children would not compete with 3Phase, solicit 3Phase customers, use 3Phase trade secrets, or use the Eagle name for a five-year period of time  The Wrenn’s were employed by 3Phase to assist with integrating Eagle into 3Phase, which resulted in several Wrenn’s gaining access to 3Phase’s customer lists, pricing, sales data and the like. 

Following the close of the sale, most of the Wrenn family quit working for 3Phase.  According to the complaint, several of the ex-employee Wrenns formed a new company, Legacy, to compete with 3Phase in violation of the Eagle sale agreement.   It says that Legacy is deliberately targeting Eagle customers, and that half of Legacy’s maintenance business consists of ex-Eagle customers.  It also alleges that Legacy has obtained use of the domain name “eagleelevator.com” and uses it to redirect traffic to its “legacy-elevator.com” website.  Finally, 3Phase says that Legacy has hired a number of Eagle employees away from 3Phase, again in violation of the restrictive covenants of the sale agreement. 

3Phase brings counts for violation of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of 93A, tortious interference and unjust enrichment.

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