United States District Court, D. Nevada
MICHAEL H. PONDER, Plaintiff(s),
DR. HANS-PETER WILD, Defendant(s).
before the court is plaintiff Michael Ponder's motion for
leave to file an amended complaint. (ECF No. 28). Defendant
Hans-Peter Wild filed a response (ECF No. 29), to which
plaintiff replied (ECF No. 32).
before the court is plaintiff's motion to reopen the
case. (ECF No. 26). Defendant filed a response (ECF No. 29),
to which plaintiff replied (ECF No. 32).
action arises out of an alleged oral agreement between
plaintiff and defendant. Defendant, a resident of
Switzerland, has or had an ownership or managerial interest
in various corporations, including Wild Flavors, Inc.
(“WFI”), Wild Affiliated Holdings, Inc.
(“WAH”), and WILD Flavors GmbH (the
“company”). (ECF No. 1 at 2).
1998, plaintiff, a Nevada resident, joined WFI as the
president and CEO, and reported directly to defendant.
Id. In August 2005, WFI became a subsidiary of WAH,
and plaintiff became president and CEO of WAH. Id.
In 2010, plaintiff became CEO of the company, which is
headquartered in Switzerland. Id.
during a dinner at defendant's house in Zug, Switzerland,
defendant told plaintiff that plaintiff “needs to lead
the effort to complete the sale of the [c]ompany, which
included WFI and WAH.” Id. at 3. Plaintiff
maintains that in return for his participation in the sale of
the company, defendant promised “an additional $3
million over and above whatever compensation the management
team received from the sale.” Id.
claims that he led all of the management meetings,
presentations, discussions with potential buyers, and was
available for travel during the sale process. Id. at
4. Based on plaintiff's alleged performance, he had grown
WFI “to more than $300 million in revenue and had an
operating profit of more than 30%.” Id. at 6.
Plaintiff argues that at the time of the sale of the company
in 2014, WFI was the company's “crown jewel,
” allowing him to demand the significant premium for
the business that defendant required. Id.
October 2014, after the sale of the company, plaintiff
allegedly asked defendant who he should send the wiring
instructions to for his $3 million payment. Id.
Plaintiff maintains that defendant responded by claiming that
the management payment after the sale was enough and that
defendant was not going to pay plaintiff the allegedly
agreed-upon $3 million sum. Id.
claims that in April 2016, defendant stated he would pay
plaintiff $25, 000 to handle a matter with the German
government. Id. at 7. Defendant allegedly only paid
plaintiff $10, 000 because, as defendant stated, $10, 000 was
also claims to have provided bodyguard services to defendant
for which he was never paid-estimated at $100, 000 per year.
Id. at 8. Plaintiff maintains that when he began
requesting payment for his various services, defendant began
“engaging in defamation of [plaintiff]'s character
and work ethic.” Id.
alleged defamation consisted of sending correspondence to
“third-parties, including, but not limited to,
[plaintiff]'s former employer” that consisted of
false statements in an effort to “discredit” and
“tarnish” plaintiff's reputation.
also claims to have been removed as “director of a
company” because he refused to join defendant's
plan to cover up an attack of a female colleague.
Id. at 9. Defendant allegedly never compensated
plaintiff for his services as director of this company,
estimated at $250, 000 per year. Id.
October 1, 2016, plaintiff filed the underlying complaint
alleging (1) breach of oral contract, (2) breach of implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (3) unjust
enrichment, (4) fraudulent or intentional misrepresentation,
(5) conversion, (6) defamation, and (7) punitive damages.
(ECF No. 1).
April 26, 2017, the court granted defendant's motion to
dismiss plaintiff's complaint for lack of jurisdiction.
(ECF No. 24). Thereafter, plaintiff filed the instant
motions. Plaintiff's proposed amended complaint, attached
to his motion for leave to amend, contains three causes of