The employment contract of Mr. Tarzian and rights to a software program, which he invented and is now licensed to Havas' Euro and its Circle.com subsidiary, are at issue in a complaint filed May 5. In his suit, the executive charges Euro with interfering with prospective business relationships with clients of Last Mile, a new enterprise he launched in April; of misrepresenting to prospective clients the terms of his employment and noncompete agreements with Euro and Circle.com; and of slander, by telling a prospective Last Mile client that he is prohibited from providing services according to the terms of his employment agreement.
Mr. Tarzian is asking for damages in excess of $5 million. "My complaint speaks for itself," he said. Euro attorney Nancy Wynne calls Mr. Tarzian's suit "without merit." Euro has 20 days to respond.
The agency's suit, filed against Mr. Tarzian and his new company May 9, also in New York State Supreme Court, charges Mr. Tarzian with orchestrating a scheme to "unlawfully compete" against Circle.com and Euro in violation of the terms of his employment agreement.
Specifically, Euro's suit says that in violation of his fiduciary duties to Euro, Mr. Tarzian spent "a significant amount of time" while still in his job as 4D CEO developing Last Mile, which Euro characterizes as a competing company. Euro also alleges Mr. Tarzian breached the terms of his employment contract by soliciting Circle.com and Euro employees to join Last Mile.
Another charge is that Mr. Tarzian solicited a key client, IBM Corp., and also engaged in "fraudulent acts" to obtain a commitment from the marketer to move its business to Last Mile once he resigned from Euro.
point: Among Mr. Tarzian's claims:
* Euro misrepresented the terms of his non-solicitation and non-compete agreements to prospective clients of his new company, Last Mile.
* Euro, in misrepresenting Mr. Tarzian's nonsolicitation and noncompete agreements, slandered Mr. Tarzian
COUNTERPOINT: Euro charges Mr. Tarzian and Last Mile of:
* Breaching his employment contract by soliciting clients and employees of Circle.com