AGS Reveals Latest Decision in Industry Spat
AGS and its owner, Brian Schaeffer, report another preliminary victory in their ongoing legal dispute with industry competitor Southeast Publications Inc.
Schaeffer, CEO of Crowley, Texas-based AGS and Texas Advertising Inc., told Woodall's Campground Management (WCM) that Federal Court Judge John McBryde has denied Southeast's request to dismiss AGS's suit against it.
Now, the parties will proceed into the discovery phase of the lawsuit which will give AGS the opportunity to take the depositions of key witnesses, Schaeffer stated in an e-mail.
AGS filed the suit in federal court in Fort Worth. Judge McBride issued his latest ruling on Tuesday (April 23).
"The significance of this latest ruling is that Southeast will now have to participate in the discovery phase of the lawsuit and produce evidence in support of their allegations," Schaeffer continued, "in particular, evidence which supports the reasoning behind Southeast management instructing its employees and sales representatives to inform AGS' customers and AGS' sales representatives that AGS would be going out of business and should switch to Southeast to service their needs."
Schaeffer added, "As AGS continues its investigation, it has obtained witness statements from RV park owners and sales representatives who recall Southeast representatives making such statements. AGS has also obtained the statement from a former Southeast employee who was instructed to call AGS sales representatives to entice them to leave AGS and join Southeast because AGS was going out of business."
Southeast Publications CEO Wally Warrick declined to comment on the case.
The federal suit is one of three filed by the parties in two states. Tamarac, Fla.-based Southeast Publications filed the first of its suits in federal court in Florida. The suit was dismissed. Southeast then filed a similar suit in a Florida state court in Brevard County. That suit also was dismissed. Southeast asserted its claim to refile the suit in state court, and a decision on that request is pending. AGS then filed its suit in Fort Worth.