On June 8, 2023, Vertical Bridge REIT, LLC (“Vertical Bridge”) sued Everest Infrastructure Partners, Inc. and EIP Holdings II, LLC (collectively “Everest”) in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Vertical Bridge contends that “Everest has developed and implemented an improper, multi-state, and multimillion dollar scheme to unlawfully improve its market share at Vertical Bridge’s expense through trade secret misappropriation, false advertising, tortious interference with contract, and unfair competition.” It alleges that Everest targets Towers with soon-to-be expiring ground leases, solicits the Landlords at these sites to share with Everest Vertical Bridge’s confidential, trade secret-protected information and then uses Vertical Bridge’s trade secrets to craft an offer to purchase a Landlord’s lessor rights in the property that is specifically designed to subvert Vertical Bridge’s rights, including its rights of first refusal, non-interference rights, and consent for-assignment rights.
Based on these allegations, Vertical Bridge has asserted seven legal claims against Everest including false advertising under the Lanham Act, violations of state and federal trade secrets statutes, unjust enrichment, tortious interference with existing and prospective contractual relationships and unfair competition. Vertical Bridge seeks a court order enjoining Everest from engaging in the complained of conduct, damages and attorneys’ fees.
By NYSWA Education Committee Member, David M. Rownd, Vedder Price, P