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Federal Judge Denies Motion to Compel Arbitration Filed by New York Life in $14 Million Lawsuit By Former Agent

Last week, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire denied a motion to compel arbitration filed by New York Life (and two related companies) in a lawsuit filed by Ketler Bossé, a former soliciting agent and district agent for the company. The case will now proceed in court, and the parties will soon begin discovery. Factual Background Mr. Bossé engaged Fojo Law, P.L.L.C. and filed a Complaint in January 2019, asserting various federal and state employment-related claims against New York Life, including claims for discrimination and retaliation under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and breach of contract under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and various state law claims, including claims for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, wrongful termination, tortious interference with economic advantage, violation of New Hampshire’s Consumer Protection Act (RSA 358-A), breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, conversion, defamation per quod, and defamation per se. Mr. Bossé alleged that, despite excelling as an agent for New York Life and the many accolades he earned during his 14-year affiliation with the company, New York Life terminated him because he is black and then defamed him and appropriated his clients. He alleged he is owed over $14 million in lost commissions, residual commissions, override commissions, and other compensation and expenses. The Parties’ Arguments New York Life filed a motion to compel arbitration, arguing that, under an employment agreement Mr. Bossé signed in 2004 (which was then terminated in 2005), Mr. Bossé’s claims must be dismissed in favor of arbitration...