After four years of litigation, United States District Judge Kenneth M. Karas has dismissed most of Rockland Exposition Incorporated’s (REI) complaint against the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP-NJ), AASP-NJ board members Tom Elder, Thomas Greco, Glenn Villacari and Thomas Greco Publishing. REI filed suit in 2008 after the association elected not to renew their management contract with REI and its president David McCarey, and moved AASP-NJ’s NORTHEAST Show back to New Jersey.
In an 87-page opinion issued Friday, Sept. 14, Judge Karas dismissed REI’s most significant claim that AASP-NJ and the other defendants infringed on REI’s claimed rights in the trademark "NORTHEAST." Therefore, REI’s demands on this count for injunctive relief and damages failed. The court also dismissed REI’s claims for trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition under New York law.
The court dismissed REI’s claims for false and deceptive advertising, trade libel and disparagement; tortious interference with prospective business advantage; and tortious interference with contract with respect to AASP-NJ, Thomas Greco and Thomas Greco Publishing.
“We are extremely happy that this is over,” AASP-NJ President Jeff McDowell said. “It has been a long, painful experience that has taken its toll on many of the dedicated volunteers who serve our association, and we are proud that we took a stand to make sure justice was served.
“There are many people to thank, especially board members Brian Vesley
and Joe Amato. Brian has spent countless hours of his
own time making sure that AASP-NJ’s interests were being looked after
from day one. Joe went way beyond the call of duty to make sure we were
protected from an insurance standpoint. I don’t know where we would be
without those two individuals. Our association and our industry are
indebted to them.”