A judge ruled that the former CEO of the Kardashian licensing company can take the part of his lawsuit against the famous family to a jury rather than an arbitrator.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court denied a motion by attorneys for the family to force John LaBonty’s case into arbitration. Court heard arguments Tuesday before taking the case under submission and ruling on Wednesday.
LaBonty was the CEO of Boldface Group, the licensing company that spearheaded the Kardashian sisters’ makeup collection, and alleges that the reality television family fired him and failed to pay him for his stake in the company. His suit filed Sept. 20 names Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian and their mother Kris Jenner’s company, Momager Inc., along with Hillair Capital Management Inc., an investment fund manager.
LaBonty claims that he is owed $6 million to $32 million despite the restructuring of Boldface in 2014 in order to avoid bankruptcy.
The Kardashian attorneys maintained LaBonty was bound to arbitrate his claims based on his Boldface employment and a 2012 license agreement related to the Kardashians’ cosmetics line that Haven Beauty Inc. bought in a receivership sale. LaBonty was appointed Haven’s CEO in October 2014.
But LaBonty’s lawyers maintained all of his claims were connected to a binding written agreement with some of the defendants that did not have an arbitration clause and that Haven never assumed LaBonty’s Boldface employment agreement.