Nicklaus Companies sues Jack Nicklaus for breach of contract
Ricky Gray | May 24, 2022
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Lawsuit alleges tortious interference, breach of contract and breach of judiciary duty against Nicklaus.
Filed in New York state court on May 13, Jack Nicklaus is being sued by the company that bears his last name, Nicklaus Companies.
The company states that it paid Nicklaus $145m in May 2007 for exclusive rights to his golf course design services and marketing, promotional, and branding rights. The complaint alleges that Nicklaus diverted opportunities away from Nicklaus Companies for his personal benefit.
The lawsuit states that Nicklaus "repeated acts in bad faith against the best interests of the Company, including acts to intentionally and maliciously undermine the company."
It goes on to say: "This wrongful conduct by Mr. Nicklaus has been causing substantial damage to the Company, including through side deals for endorsement services and unauthorized uses of the Nicklaus [intellectual property] that were in derogation of Nicklaus Companies' rights, devaluing the brand and causing financial damages to the Company."
The details of this lawsuit were first reported by Morning Read/SI.com.
The Nicklaus Company stated that it asked Nicklaus to stop the conduct and sent him a cease-and-desist letter. The complaint also states that Nicklaus resigned as an officer and director of Nicklaus Companies on May 3.
The lawsuit's statement continues: "Mr. Nicklaus is now threatening not only to continue this wrongful conduct, but also to expand it, by asserting that he has the right to provide golf course design services and commercial endorsements -- the core businesses sold to the Company in 2007 -- for his exclusive benefit without the involvement of the Company."
Nicklaus had this to say regarding the lawsuit: "The claims made by Howard Milstein are untrue. Our relationship has been a difficult one, at best. I have little doubt about the outcome, but I don't intend to make this a public spectacle, if it can be avoided."
Nicklaus is 82 years old and is an 18-time major champion.