Company says contractor violating non-compete agreement

David Yates Jun. 26, 2007, 4:44am

Lewis Martin, a former trucker for Golden Triangle Delivery Inc. (also known as KDSI), left the company to start his own business, Jeanie's Delivery Service. To stop Martin from stealing clients, KDSI filed a request for a temporary restraining order with the Jefferson County District Court on June 22.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, on Nov. 18, 2005, Martin signed a Non-Disclosure and Non-Competition Agreement with KDSI, prohibiting him from stealing the company's customers during or after his employment. On March 9, 2007, Martin left to start his own business, with the intent of providing "the same services" to a welding supply company that he was providing as an employee of KDSI.

An essential element of KDSI's business "is the development and maintenance of focused personal contracts and relationships between certain employees/contractors�and KDSI's clients," the suit said. The company is claiming that as a KSDI employee, Martin developed a relationship with the welding supplier, and then capitalized on its association.

"During his employment, defendant worked for multiple customers and clients of plaintiff," the suit said.

Documents attached to the suit did indicate Martin entered into a Non-Competition Agreement with KDSI.

"This conduct by defendant is in direct violation of the Contractor Transportation Agreement�which was signed by defendant," the suit said. "However, upon information and belief, prior to informing plaintiff of his intentions to leave, defendant removed his entire employment file including the signed agreement. Plaintiff has located a prior agreement, which is attached as Exhibit B."

A section of the signed contract says that the Martin agreed "that except with the written consent of carrier," that during the course of employment and for one year after, the contractor would not "compete directly or indirectly in any way with the business of carrier, within a 100 mile radius from Beaumont, Texas."

KDSI is suing Martin for breaching his contract, claiming it has "suffered damages equal to the lost income for the worth that defendant has been providing" to the welding supply company, the suit said.

"If defendant is allowed to continue to violate the non-compete agreement, plaintiff will continue to will incur substantial hardship and incur damages, for which plaintiff will have no adequate remedy at law," the suit said. "Defendant's conduct cannot continue throughout the duration of this litigation, because the damages caused by defendant's conduct will be irreparable. It is essential that the court immediately and temporarily restrain defendant from continuing to perform trucking and delivery services."

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Jeffrey T. Roebuck of the Roebuck & Thomas law firm.

Judge Bob Wortham, 59th Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. A179-546

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