Jury sides with Saunders & Associates in data-hacking case

Firm accused agent Meg Salem of bringing stolen data to Compass in 2015

TRD New York /
Feb.February 22, 2018 11:00 AM

Andrew Saunders and Meg Salem

A Long Island jury has sided with Saunders & Associates, which took former agent Meg Salem to court over alleged data hacking and breach of contract after she joined Compass in 2015.

The Hamptons-based firm alleged Salem stole thousands of active and inactive listings and other proprietary data from its password-protected database and shared it with the venture-backed firm. Following five days of testimony, the jury returned its verdict in favor of Saunders on Tuesday. But they awarded Saunders just $13,300 in total damages. Salem’s legal team had maintained during the trial that Saunders suffered no damage to the data breaches and use them as an opportunity to hobble Compass, which at the time was struggling to gain a foothold in the Hamptons market.

Robert Folks, Salem’s attorney, said his client is disappointed but weighing her next steps. “In our view, Ms. Salem is still owed unpaid commissions, lost wages and future earnings,” he said. Saunders intentionally tried to wear down Salem “emotionally and financially” to exact revenge, her attorneys claim.

Days after Saunders sued Salem in 2015, she was booted from Compass. Saunders’ original claims also charged Compass and several members of Salem’s team with being complicit in her scheme, which involved using the login and password of other Saunders agents to access its database. Saunders dropped claims against Compass and the others in late 2016. Several of Salem’s former team members at Saunders testified against her.

Last year, Salem filed counterclaims against her former firm and founder Andrew Saunders, alleging the brokerage chief launched a campaign to “blacklist” her from the Hamptons real estate market. She sought $5 million in damages, including $429,777 in unpaid commission and damages.

Neither Saunders or his attorney responded to a request for comment.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Brooklyn’s Sunset Park is in the midst of a severe housing crisis and in desperate need of affordable housing. (Photo by Jim.henderson via Wikipedia)

Sunset Park faces severe affordable housing shortage: report

Sunset Park faces severe affordable housing shortage: report
209 Dean Street and 315 Adelphi Street (Google Maps)

Sprawling Brooklyn townhouses drive week’s priciest deals

Sprawling Brooklyn townhouses drive week’s priciest deals
The number of single-family homes on the market hit historic lows in July, driving prices up (iStock)

US housing supply reaches nearly 40-year low

US housing supply reaches nearly 40-year low
Gov. Andrew Cuomo with Judge Lawrence Marks and Judge Daniele Chinea (Getty, Linkedin, iStock)

Flip-flop on eviction ban extension highlights state’s chaotic response

Flip-flop on eviction ban extension highlights state’s chaotic response
Nelson Rockefeller and 812 Fifth Avenue Photos via Getty; StreetEasy; Google Maps)

Fifth Ave co-op owned by Rockefeller family hits market

Fifth Ave co-op owned by Rockefeller family hits market
Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner with 199 Mott Street (Getty; Modlin Group)

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner list NYC pied-à-terre for $5.9M

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner list NYC pied-à-terre for $5.9M
A million homeowners haven’t requested forbearance on their mortgages — and are now at risk for foreclosure and eviction. (iStock)

1M struggling homeowners didn’t request forbearance. Now what?

1M struggling homeowners didn’t request forbearance. Now what?
(iStock)

Landlords lost about $9B in rental payments last quarter: report

Landlords lost about $9B in rental payments last quarter: report
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...