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Critical Intervention, KKP Antitrust Security Guard Class Action

Can two companies, a law firm, and a few individuals restrain trade in the security guard industry in a state? The complaint for this class action alleges that Critical Intervention Services, Inc. (CIS), the KPP Security Group (KPP), the Solomon Law Group, PA, and four people did exactly that. It alleges that the companies “entered customer allocation and no-poaching or no-hiring agreements with competing private security companies throughout Florida and beyond.” The complaint claims violations of the Sherman Act.

The class for this action is all natural persons employed by CIS or KKP as private security guards in the US, between January 1, 2014 and the present.

The complaint begins by alleging that wages for security guards are low for the duties they’re asked to perform. It quotes one person as saying, “They pay you what a department store clerk makes and ask you to carry a gun and go hands on with criminals putting your life on the line for $11 an hour.”

According to the complaint, the pay rate for private security guards in Florida is roughly $12.09 per hour, while the average rate nationwide is roughly $14.78. The complaint blames the collusion of companies in the industry for this disparity, saying that they combine to limit employee mobility and suppress wages. 

Two of the four individuals named in this case are Karl Poulin, who founded CIS, and his wife Kimberly Poulin, with whom he founded KKP. CIS requires that new hires sign a non-compete agreement, and since turnover is high, this prevents security guards who want to quit or are terminated from working in the same field in the following two years. The complaint says that “many aspects of [the defendants’] model are per se antitrust violations.

The complaint also claims that the defendants used trade associations to accomplish their purposes as well. Two of these are the KKP Security Group and the Florida Association of Security Companies (FASCO). Karl Poulin is FASCO’s Chairman of the Board, and FASCO’s principal address is the same as the address for CIS and KKP. 

The complaint alleges, “CIS requires an agreement with broad restrictions on any competitive activity from every competitor that becomes involved in KKP and attempts to obtain the same in connection with any involvement in FASCO.” The complaint claims that some of these agreements are formal written contracts, some are entered into via e-mail or text message, and some are verbal “gentleman’s agreements.” All, however, are illegal, the complaint says.

The final two individuals are attorneys with Solomon Law, Stanford Solomon and Gabriel Pinilla. Instead of warning the other defendants that their agreements were illegal, the complaint says, the two attorneys and the firm helped them further their schemes, “leverage[ing] individual employee non-compete cases into horizontal restraints of trade and a full-blown antitrust conspiracy.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Antitrust

Most Recent Case Event

Critical Intervention, KKP Antitrust Security Guard Complaint

March 14, 2019

Can two companies, a law firm, and a few individuals restrain trade in the security guard industry in a state? The complaint for this class action alleges that Critical Intervention Services, Inc. (CIS), the KPP Security Group (KPP), the Solomon Law Group, PA, and four people did exactly that. It alleges that the companies “entered customer allocation and no-poaching or no-hiring agreements with competing private security companies throughout Florida and beyond.” The complaint claims violations of the Sherman Act.

security_guard_antitrust_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Critical Intervention, KKP Antitrust Security Guard Complaint

March 14, 2019

Can two companies, a law firm, and a few individuals restrain trade in the security guard industry in a state? The complaint for this class action alleges that Critical Intervention Services, Inc. (CIS), the KPP Security Group (KPP), the Solomon Law Group, PA, and four people did exactly that. It alleges that the companies “entered customer allocation and no-poaching or no-hiring agreements with competing private security companies throughout Florida and beyond.” The complaint claims violations of the Sherman Act.

security_guard_antitrust_complaint.pdf
Tags: Antitrust, No-Poach Agreements