Security company sues former employee over confidentiality agreement

Kelly Holleran Jan. 9, 2012, 7:52am

A security company claims a competitor stole multiple clients from it after a former employee defected.

Defendant S&S Investigations and Security allegedly lured four of Patriot Security's clients away from the company after employee George Adams revealed confidential information, according to the complaint filed in Jefferson County District Court.

Adams had previously worked as a business development manager for Patriot Security, where he was allowed access to confidential information. When he got the job, Adams signed an agreement in which he agreed to keep the information secret until at least five years after his resignation or termination.

However, Adams shared the confidential material with S&S shortly after he lost his job at Patriot Security in January. Adams was terminated from his position at Patriot Security because he refused to sign a new employee contract that included updated non-compete and non-disclosure clauses, the suit states.

Following Adams's termination, Patriot Security filed a lawsuit against him to ensure that he obeyed the original non-compete clause laid out in his initial contract with the company, the complaint says. On March 25, the court issued a temporary injunction against Adams, ordering him to refrain from inducing any Patriot Security employee into work at S&S, from communications with any of Patriot Security's clients and from disclosing confidential information with S&S, Patriot Security alleges.

However, disregarding the order, Adams and S&S managed to convince Gulf Copper, Optimist Village, ITEX/O.W. Collins and Kmtex to hire S&S for services instead of Patriot Security, according to the complaint.

"The Patriot/Gulf Copper relationship dates back to the 1990s and Gulf Copper was, in fact, the second customer Patriot obtained in the early 90s," the suit states.

Due to the loss of its clients, Patriot Security has incurred losses of more than $800,000, the complaint says.

In its complaint, Patriot Security alleges tortious interference with an existing contract, tortious interference with prospective contractual or business relations, a violation of the Theft Liability Act and misappropriation of trade secrets against S&S.

It is seeking actual, statutory, consequential and incidental damages, pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest rate allowed by law, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

David E. Bernsen and Christine L. Stetson of The Bernsen Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing it.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Case No. A191-488

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