6:15am PT by Ashley Cullins
APA Sues Agent Over Exit to Gersh
Two more Hollywood agencies are facing off in the courtroom over allegations of poaching — this time it's APA and Gersh.
APA is suing its ex-agent Garrett Smith over his recent exit to Gersh, claiming he breached his contract by leaving and encouraging others to go with him.
According to a lawsuit filed Thursday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Smith's one-year contract was subject to extensions at APA's discretion through his third year with the agency. His initial contract was set to expire Sept. 23, but in June, APA extended it for another year.
Smith's talks with Gersh began in July, according to the complaint, and they involved not only terminating his own employment but also "diverting [APA's] existing and prospective client relationships and business opportunities, as well as certain of [APA's] employees, to Gersh" — ultimately leading to his resignation in August.
In addition to breach of contract and unfair competition, APA is also suing Smith for breaches of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fiduciary duty and the duty of loyalty.
APA is seeking statutory and punitive damages, plus an injunction to prevent Smith from providing services to Gersh during the term of his employment agreement with APA.