Business owners fight allegations of theft from former employer

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 19, 2010, 6:29am

TYLER-A former employee of Galyean Equipment Co. claims the company is conspiring to violate his civil rights by filing false charges against him.

Globalfab LLC and Timothy Scott Thomas filed suit against Allen Galyean, Galyean Equipment Co. Inc., Gaylean LP, the city of Henderson and city of Henderson Police Department on April 12 in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to court records, plaintiff Thomas and another former Gaylean Equipment worker left the company and began a similar but distinct company, Globalfab. They claim they used an original concept and their own plans to construct a prototype low profile tank trailer.

Two months after they opened their own business, Gaylean initiated criminal charges against the plaintiffs, alleging the plaintiffs were using his intellectual property. Globalfab was raided by the police and items, including the tank trailer prototype were seized.

The plaintiffs allege these actions were an attempt by the defendants to avoid additional business competition and to misappropriate confidential and proprietary information.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include civil rights violations, conspiracy to commit civil rights violations, libel and/or slander, business disparagement, misappropriation of confidential and proprietary information and trade secrets and unfair competition, abuse of process, conversion of 401k funds, conversion � items seized in raid, unjust enrichment, negligence, gross negligence and fraud.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to issue a permanent injunction to prevent the defendants from disclosing, misappropriating or using the plaintiffs' confidential, proprietary and trade secret information.

The plaintiffs are seeking actual damages for its loss and diminution of value against defendants because of unjust enrichment, breach of trust, and confidential relationship, misappropriation of plaintiffs' confidential, proprietary and trade secret information, damages to compensate for violations of their civil rights, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and interest. Thomas is also asking the court to require the defendant turnover his 401K fund.

The plaintiff is represented by Houston attorneys Guy E. Matthews, Terry B. Joseph, and Matthew C. Juren of Matthews, Lawson, Johnson & Payne PLLC. Additional counsel includes Tyler attorneys Robert M. Parker and Charles Ainsworth of Parker, Bunt & Ainsworth PC.

Case No 6:10cv00139

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