Online educator cites competitor, alleging interference

By Carol Ostrow | Apr 29, 2015

A Pennsylvania educational company has sued a Texas private school and its owner, alleging infringement of contractual rights.

Veritas Press Inc. of Lancaster filed a lawsuit April 27 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Wilson Hill Academy of Austin, Texas, and Robert Donaldson of Austin, alleging breach of duty.

The plaintiff provides online educational services to students worldwide, entering into contractual relationships with teachers. According to the complaint, in each teacher’s agreement the teacher agrees not engage in competitive activity such as recruiting students, selling materials, or teaching online classes for other enterprises.

The suit says Wilson Hill, which operates a similar online academy, in January 2014, intentionally solicited teachers currently under contract with Veritas Press for the subsequent school year and published their names on its own website as if to advertise as faculty.

The complaint states Wilson Hill repeated this action during the subsequent (2014-15) school year. Veritas cites the defendant for: unfair trade practices; intentional interference with contractual relations; fraudulently marketing a competing service; and causing damages in the form of confusion and lost revenue.

Veritas Press seeks compensatory damages in excess of $75,000, including lost profits, attorney fees and court costs. It is represented by attorneys Robert M. Frankhouser Jr., Kevin French and Brandon Harter of Hartman Underhill & Brubaker in Lancaster.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case 5:15-cv-02278-JFL.

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