In a decision that received significant media coverage in Central Florida, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed an arbitration decision as well as the trial court Order confirming the decision. Nucci v. Storm Football Partners, 82 So. 3d 180 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012).
Robert Nucci, M.D. sought to review the “Partners” confidential information regarding ownership of the “Tampa Bay Storm,” which is an indoor professional football club. The parties entered into a Non-Disclosure Agreement wherein the remedy for disclosure or use of confidential information would be an injunctive remedy. Failure to follow the Disclosure Agreement would further yield liquidated damages as a percentage of the purchase price of the franchise per the Agreement. The Agreement also contained mandatory arbitration language.
Shortly after executing the Agreement, Robert Nucci, M.D. received confidential business information and began direct negotiations with the Storm’s owner unbeknownst to the Partners. Eventually, Robert Nucci, M.D. acquired a fifty-one percent interest in the Storm for over $9.6 million. The partners sued for injunctive relief as well as arbitration seeking damages pursuant to the Agreement. The arbitrator found the parties’ Agreement allowed for the simultaneous pursuit of arbitration and the civil action. The parties agreed to allow discovery from the arbitration to be used in the trial court.
The parties proceeded to final arbitration hearing without objection. Robert Nucci, M.D sought to vacate the arbitration award and confirming order of the trial court. On appeal, the Second District affirmed in all respects finding that Robert Nucci, M.D. consented to arbitration and demonstrated no basis for relief.