Judge grants company's petition to take deposition

David Yates Jan. 9, 2012, 10:25am

Recently, an industrial gas and safety supplier claiming a former employee violated her non-solicitation agreement had its petition to take the deposition of Michelle Hightower granted.

As previously reported, Airgas, a company that acquired safety services provider Oilind in June 2008, filed a verified petition to take deposition before suit July 19 in Jefferson County District Court.

In its petition, Airgas claims it hired Michelle Hightower on Oct. 4, 2010, to work as a safety sales specialist for Oilind. As part of her employment, Hightower signed a confidentiality agreement, in which she agreed to refrain from calling Airgas's customers for at least one year if she went to work for a competing company, the suit states.

However, shortly after Hightower began working for Airgas' competitor, Sprint Safety, she began placing phone calls to Airgas' old customers, the complaint says.

Court records show that Airgas amended its petition on Aug. 4.

On Dec. 2 Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, granted the amended petition, allowing the company to take Hightower's deposition by written questions on whether she had any communications with Sprint Safety before her employment.

Jacqueline Johnson Lichty and Jeremy W. Hawpe of Littler Mendelson in Dallas represent Airgas.

Case No. D190-535

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