A judge has dismissed the Comedy Store’s lawsuit against a Seattle-based accounting firm, in which the plaintiff that sustained severe business losses during the pandemic alleged the number-crunching firm’s missteps caused it to lose a chance at getting at least $8.5 million in relief funds.
Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Lisa K Sepe-Wiesenfeld ruled during a hearing Tuesday that Moss Adams LP was correct in arguing that the case should have been brought in Washington state. The judge said the forum selection clause contained within the parties’ business agreement made Washington state the proper forum for litigation between the parties.
“The court finds that (the Comedy Store) fails to provide any persuasive arguments which would render enforcement of the forum selection clause as unreasonable,” the judge further wrote.
Attorneys for the Comedy Store stated in their court papers that the club never had contact with Moss Adams representatives from Washington, nor did the firm have any Washington accountants or personnel involved in the matter.
However, in their court papers, Moss Adams attorneys said the contract language was clear.
“The express terms of the engagement agreements compel dismissal of this lawsuit because (the Comedy Store) explicitly agreed in them that this and any disputes relating to Moss Adams’ engagement and services must be adjudicated in the state of Washington,” Moss Adams attorneys argued in their court papers.
The suit filed last Aug. 30 alleged that Moss Adams misrepresented its expertise and knowledge about the federal COVID-related relief program and failed to inform the Comedy Store that the application to apply for the government grants was closing in August 2021.