Susanna Jens, a member of the class, filed a class action lawsuit in Washington against Tori Belle back in May.
Tori Belle’s lawsuit hasn’t gone well; most recently, an injunction was issued against them, as well as a default judgment.
The proposed class action by plaintiff Jens was submitted on May 5th to the King County Superior Court of Washington.
According to Jens’ claim, The affiliate arrangement with Tori Belle is against Washington’s anti-competition statute.
Defendant compelled Plaintiff to execute a non-competition agreement on or about November 27, 2021.
Additionally, Defendant requested non-competition undertakings from the Class Members.
Plaintiff and the Class Members received yearly compensation from Defendant totaling no more than $250,000 at all relevant times.
Plaintiff and the Class have suffered damages that must be established at trial as a result of Defendant’s conduct and omissions.
Easy to understand.
The affiliate agreement that Tori Belle compliance given to Jens is an exhibit to a declaration, and it contains the following provisions:
The affiliate signing below acknowledges and accepts the following:
I’ll continue working for the firm for a year in good standing.
For a period of one year following the assignment of a DTC Affiliate, I will not participate in any other MLM, direct sales, or affiliate connection (s)
For a period of one year after quitting, I won’t promote, recruit for, or otherwise work with any other business that uses social or direct selling (MLM) to sell eyelashes or other cosmetics. If Tori Belle Cosmetics breaches this agreement, any funds and bonuses received in the last year from DTC Affiliates allocated to my team will be forfeited and repaid.
“Direct to Corporate” is referred to as “DTC.” Tori Belle affiliates that lack an upline (joined up without a sponsor, stopped participating, or selected their upline from a “company authorized list of Affiliates”) are known as DTC Affiliates.
Jens signed a non-competition commitment after January 2020 and asked to represent affiliates of Tori Belle who make less than $250,000.
In March 2022, Jens’ employment with Tori Belle ended. She says she is “increasingly scared” Tori Belle will sue her while promoting Modern.
Because of this anxiety, (Jens) has made fewer Modere product and marketing investments and has maintained a less noticeable presence on social media to stay “under Hunter’s radar” and prevent being the subject of a lawsuit.
Because of the missed business and marketing possibilities, Plaintiff might have earned at least two to three times as much money as she does now if she had been able to grow her Modere marketing company without worrying about legal action or interference from Hunter and the other parties (Tori Belle).
Physical problems are a result of the constant stress and fear that Hunter and Defendant might serve Plaintiff with a lawsuit at any time.
For the everyday stress that this scenario continues to generate, her doctor has prescribed antidepressants, which she now takes.
Jens reports instances of CEO Laura Hunter (right) discussing litigation brought against former Tori Belle associates who afterward joined other MLM businesses on Facebook.
A potential trial date of May 8, 2023, was established by the court clerk on the same day that Jens’ case was submitted.
Jens’ case received no response from Tori Belle, therefore the court entered an Order of Default.
Tori Belle submitted a motion on July 19th asking for the ruling to be overturned. CEO Laura Hunter asserted the business
did not in this case obtain a copy of the summons.
Tori Belle was not informed that the time to answer had begun since she did not get a copy of the summons.
It has “strong defenses” against Plaintiff Jen’s allegations, according to Tori Belle.
The court rejected Tori Belle’s request on July 19 and upheld the Order of Default.
The jury concluded
Tori Belle, the defendant, acted negligently by neglecting to reply to the complaint.
The defendant’s carelessness was unacceptable.
The defendant doesn’t have a convincing defense.
The judge also gave Jens a $10,000 legal fee award.
Plaintiff Jens submitted a motion on September 6th asking for the issuance of an injunction against Tori Belle.
The non-compete clauses in their affiliate agreements with Tori Belle were intended to be declared unconstitutional by the injunction.
Any product that the Company (or any of its affiliate entities) regards to be its original creation is banned from being sold by Affiliate, except magnetic eyeliner, magnetic mascara, fake eyelashes, and any product where such limitations are expressly prohibited.
Affiliates who are discovered to be selling for other businesses that sell these rival goods will be suspended and/or fired.
This was in addition to the previously mentioned 12-month non-compete.
Tori Belle did not object to the proposal. The court, therefore, approved Jens’ motion for a preliminary injunction on September 23.
To safeguard her sane interests, the plaintiff has clear legal and equitable rights.
Plaintiff’s allegations regarding a purported violation of RCW 49.62.030 are most likely to be successful.
By attempting to enforce the aforementioned unlawful non-competition covenants, Defendant aims to violate Plaintiff’s rights, in her reasonable and well-founded opinion.
Plaintiff has shown that if Defendant is permitted to interfere with her rights, she would continue to suffer genuine and significant harm to her interests.
The court changed the earlier legal fees judgment into a $10,000 total judgment on September 23.
I am unable to view the court docket since this is a state-level dispute. Though it appears the class action is off the table, Jens won the case, unless I’m missing something.
The non-compete provisions of Tori Belle’s affiliate agreements are not enforceable in Washington. And Jens received a $10,000 prize.
I can’t say that I concur with Jens’ very precise statement that “I would be making two to three times more if it weren’t for Tori Belle,” but on the whole, I believe non-compete clauses ought to be prohibited.
The sole exception to this rule is when executives leave a corporation and secret knowledge is exploited by another organization.
Current bankruptcy procedures for Tori Belle were started by parent firm LashLiner back in August.
In addition, Tori Belle is the target of two more class actions involving recurring monthly membership payments. In August 2022, both cases were filed in Washington (Plaintiffs Theresa Johnson and Steven McKnight and Plaintiff Leslie Shon Weathers).
Update: October 1, 2022. Since Plaintiff Jens was not subject to the requirements of Tori Belle’s non-competition agreements, the class action was not pursued as a class action, according to a communication from Tori Belle management.