UPDATED AS OF JANUARY 2022:
Federal judge finds operator of King David Van Lines guilty of deceiving consumers, issues damage award of $13 million to NorthStar Moving.
Los Angeles, CA, Jan. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NorthStar Moving® Company, the leading eco-luxury mover in California, today announced that it has won its trademark infringement lawsuit against King David Van Lines and its operators. A federal judge awarded NorthStar Moving $13 million against Ohad Guzi personally after finding that Mr. Guzi willfully infringed NorthStar Moving’s trademark by deceiving consumers into believing they were hiring NorthStar Moving.
Florida-based King David Van Lines, led by Mr. Guzi, conducted business under the name Northstar Movers and the domain name northstarmovers.com. In a bench trial, the U.S. District Court Southern District, Florida Fort Lauderdale Division, found that he did so to mislead customers and convince them they were hiring NorthStar Moving Company. The judge ruled Mr. Guzi was liable for trademark infringement, unfair competition and violated the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protect Act. The judge added on $100,000, the maximum allowed, for the cybersquatting violation. In addition, Mr. Guzi was ordered to pay NorthStar Moving’s attorney fees.
“NorthStar Moving is pleased that it no longer has to worry about its customers being deceived, scammed, and financially harmed by Mr. Guzi,” said NorthStar Moving attorney Deborah A. Gubernick of Snell & Wilmer LLP. “Justice is served and hopefully the message to Mr. Guzi and other infringers is clear. You can’t engage in blatant and willful infringement and think the court won’t notice; an individual responsible for infringement can’t use a corporate entity as its scapegoat to avoid liability.”
NorthStar Moving’s Florida trial counsel Joseph W. Bain of Shutts & Bowen LLP added, “This case is significant because the individual found to be the ‘conscious moving force’ behind the infringing activity of a company is liable for the company’s infringing profits.”
“Wrongdoers sometimes disguise themselves as real and reputable companies to lure in the public. They use a company’s good name and valuable reputation to attract customers but then subject their victims to horrific service and countless nightmares,” said NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm. “We discovered the infringement when Mr. Guzi’s victims contacted us with complaints, believing we were the moving company they hired. The horrible tales these victims told us, made us heartsick. We couldn’t stand by while innocent people are being ripped off. We knew we needed to take action and invest the time and the money to hold this infringer responsible and send a message to others. Make no mistake, our name has, and always will, stand for stellar service, community involvement, and kindness.”
When choosing a moving company, reputation and experience are crucial. To uncover if a moving company is a legitimate moving company with extensive experience, ask these key questions. Asking critical questions not only uncovers a wealth of knowledge about the company, but it helps prepare you for moving day. A little extra research can save you from being a fake moving company’s victim.
Deborah A. Gubernick of Snell & Wilmer LLP, as well as Joseph W. Bain and Jodi-Ann Tillman of Shutts & Bowen LLP, represented NorthStar Moving.
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ORIGINAL POST ON DECEMBER 17, 2018:
Scam Artists Pretend To Be Us
Make Sure You Know Who You are Hiring: Some consumers who believe they are hiring genuine California-headquartered NorthStar Moving/NorthStar Movers have mistakenly hired scam artists. Disreputable moving companies are using names similar to ours, extorting high fees, and providing terrible service.
One of them is using our name “NorthStar Movers,” but they are based in Florida. They do not abide by the laws regulating the moving industry, the laws of Florida, or Federal law. They purposefully chose our name to cause confusion in the marketplace. As a result, we received calls from harmed consumers sharing their moving horror stories. We subsequently reported the Florida-based scam artist Fake NorthStar Movers to the FMSCA, the government agency regulating the moving industry, the Attorney General of Florida, and the American Moving and Storage Association. Above all, we want to make sure that you, our treasured clients, are aware of them so you do not fall prey.
To protect yourself from fraud, it is so critical to check license numbers. This helps to ensure you are dealing with us, the original, award-winning NorthStar Moving Company. We are based in California and have offices in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Our license numbers are: US DOT 1836575, ICC MC-665757, and CAL PUC T-182466.
The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), now the ATA Moving & Storage Conference (MSC), is the home of the ProMover certification program. It is the national trade association representing the nation’s moving and storage companies. It issued a consumer alert announcement, warning people of this scam using our name. We want to protect you:
Choose a Professional Mover to Avoid Scams in the New Year
ALEXANDRIA, VA – As consumers plan for their household move in 2019, it’s important that they know who to trust. Consumers sometimes fall prey to unregistered or poorly rated moving companies and scam artists pretending to be legitimate companies when they don’t do enough research.
To avoid a costly and time-consuming mess, consumers should choose a certified professional mover to handle all their moving needs. Certified by the American Moving & Storage Association, ProMovers are fully licensed, insured, and meet high standards for safety and professionalism. About 2,500 movers have been certified. For a complete list and a free referral, go to Moving.org.
One of the association’s members, NorthStar Moving Company, with offices in California and Arizona, has recently seen its reputation unfairly damaged due to customer confusion with similarly named companies that are accused of defrauding customers and holding items hostage. The alleged scammers have even used NorthStar Moving’s photos online to mislead the public. Meanwhile, the legitimate NorthStar Moving is ProMover-certified with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and has a license number of US DOT 1836576. If you are choosing a company named NorthStar Moving, be sure this is the NorthStar Moving you are working with.
“When you move from one home to another, you are trusting the mover with almost everything you own. So it’s important to know who you are dealing with before you plan your move,” said Scott Michael, president and CEO for the American Moving & Storage Association. “First things first: always choose a certified professional mover from Moving.org. You can also research potential movers and file a moving fraud complaint about an interstate move gone wrong at ProtectYourMove.gov.”
For free resources and tips on planning a successful move, go to Moving.org.