April 21, 2022
DALLAS – April 21, 2022 – On April 14, 2022, the District Court rejected and invalidated a purported settlement agreement between DatabaseUSA and Everest, finding that such agreement “conferred unfair advantages and benefits to Everest, an insider, which are inconsistent with applicable law” which “ostensibly allows Everest and [DatabaseUSA] to shuffle around assets so [DatabaseUSA] can avoid paying the judgment to” Data Axle. The District Court made other favorable rulings for Data Axle, reversed certain bankruptcy court orders, remanded for further proceedings and ordered DatabaseUSA to pay certain of Data Axle’s appellate costs.
Before the filing of the bankruptcy, in August 2018, a jury unanimously found DatabaseUSA and its founder Vinod Gupta liable on all seven counts, including infringement of Data Axle’s database copyright and trademarks, unfair competition, false advertising and breach of various contracts. The trial court concluded that Gupta and DatabaseUSA acted “in bad faith, intentionally and with a desire to suppress the truth, destroyed evidence” and willfully and deliberately violated federal laws. The trial court entered judgments against DatabaseUSA for $11.2 million and Gupta for $10 million, and ordered both to pay interest and Data Axle’s attorney fees and costs, and permanently enjoined them from using Data Axle’s trade names, making false advertising statements and participating in future unfair competitive practices. The 8th Circuit found that the trial court and jury correctly found Gupta and DatabaseUSA liable and upheld the judgments in all respects.
Unable to pay the Judgment, in 2019 DatabaseUSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Nevada, where Data Axle is seeking to hold Gupta, his family office Everest Group, LLC and other conspirators liable for the Judgment.
“The balance of Judgment against DatabaseUSA is now in excess of $12.2M,” said Greg Scaglione, lead trial counsel for Data Axle who heads the National Litigation Practice at Koley Jessen. “We will continue to pursue a claim for payment on the Judgment in the Bankruptcy proceeding, in light of the recent favorable rulings of the District Court.”
“Our team continues to work tirelessly to build databases of the highest quality and accuracy,” said Data Axle Chairman and CEO Michael Iaccarino. “We will continue to pursue collection of our judgment against DatabaseUSA and its conspirators through the bankruptcy court. We are confident that we will yet again prevail.”
All questions regarding the outcome or status of the case should be referred to Data Axle’s counsel of record, Greg Scaglione at Koley Jessen.
About Data Axle
Data Axle is a leading provider of data, data-driven marketing and real-time business intelligence solutions for enterprise, small business, nonprofit and political organizations. The company’s solutions and award-winning Axle Agency enable clients to acquire and retain customers and enhance their user experiences through proprietary business and consumer data, artificial intelligence/machine learning models, innovative software applications and expert professional services. Data Axle’s cloud-based platform delivers data and data updates in real-time via APIs, CRM integrations, SaaS and managed services. Data Axle has 45+ years of experience helping organizations exceed their goals. For more information, visit www.data-axle.com.