Dissatisfied when marketing efforts didn’t bring expected results, an Austin personal injury firm sued a billboard company and an Internet marketing firm but then settled both suits in less than one month.
In the billboard suit, Loewy Law Firm alleges the defendants made untrue representations about the traffic that would see its billboard. The separate Internet marketing suit—dismissed with prejudice on Oct. 22—alleged that the firm’s name was on the second page instead of the top of search results.
“We were told we were going to get a certain amount of benefit,” says Warren Wills, who represents Loewy Law in both suits. “The numbers we were promised, the data we were given, it didn’t come to fruition.”
Wills, a partner in Richie & Gueringer in Austin, notes that the firm dismissed the suit against internet marketer Scorpion Design Inc. because it reached a confidential settlement. He says he also plans to dismiss the billboard suit because on Oct. 28, Loewy Law settled the billboard suit against Billy Reagan, Christian Craft and Reagan National Advertising of Austin Inc.
Russ Horton, partner in George Brothers Kincaid & Horton in Austin who negotiated the settlement for the defendants, confirms that the billboard suit settled and he declines further comment, noting the settlement’s confidentiality agreement.
“It was a dispute relating to an advertising program Mr. Loewy had purchased,” says Horton.
The Oct. 2 Plaintiff’s Original Petition in Loewy Law Firm v. Billy Reagan explains the background of the case. The firm contracted with Reagan National for a billboard.
“In convincing Loewy Law to enter into the contract, Defendants made certain representations regarding, among other things, the amount of traffic that would see Loewy Law’s billboards. Defendants’ representations were not true,” alleges the petition.
Loewy Law sued Reagan National for breach of contract. It sued all three defendants for fraud. The firm sought actual, punitive and exemplary damages, costs, attorney fees, and pre- and post-judgment interest. The petition says Loewy Law sought between $100,000 to $500,000.
Reagan and Craft each didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment. Reagan is the president and general manager of the company’s Austin location, according to its website. A LinkedIn profile for Christian Craft says he’s a Reagan National account executive.
The background of the Internet marketing case is in the Sept. 30 Plaintiff’s Original Petition and Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Temporary and Permanent Injunction in Loewy Law Firm v. Scorpion Design.
Loewy Law alleged it contracted with Scorpion Design to control its websites, domain names and marketing materials. Scorpion Design’s objectives were to get the firm’s name “at the top of a search page,” to place firm press releases on “internet news sites” and to write blog posts.
The firm alleged that its name “does not come up until the second page” of search results, none of its press releases were on news sites, and Scorpion Design only wrote three blog posts.
“What is even more alarming is that Scorpion Design assists other personal injury law firms in Austin” and that it’s “been doing a better job for those firms,” alleged the petition.
Adam Loewy, president and founder of Loewy Law, demanded that Scorpion Design remedy the issues, but the petition alleged the company informed him “it will immediately shut down his firm’s website and all Internet marketing” unless he accepted its operations.
With its suit, Loewy Law sued for breach of contract and fraud, claiming it was damaged for “no less than $100,000.00″ and it sought actual and exemplary damages, costs, attorney fees, and pre- and post-judgment interest.
Loewy Law also sought injunctive relief. On Sept. 30, Travis County’s 201st District Court granted a temporary restraining order to prohibit Scorpion Design from taking certain actions against Loewy Law’s websites, domain names and other materials, and from contacting the firm’s clients.
Loewy and Michael A. Sauer, chief search strategist and chief legal officer of Scorpion Design, each didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment.