Maritime sanitation company claims former employee violated non-compete agreement

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 9, 2012, 10:55am

Dennis Bettison of Bettison Doyle Apffel & Guarino PC

GALVESTON - Maritime Sanitation Inc. and its proprietor Autrey McVicker accuse Santa Fe local Lonnie Finney of violating a non-compete agreement, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed March 27 in Galveston County District Court asserts Finney gained employment with one of the plaintiffs' direct competitors even though he consented not to.

Maritime Sanitation, a Kemah-based business that specializes in waste management and plumbing, hired Finney to be its service manager and technician in 2010.

Finney entered into the non-compete agreement with the plaintiffs on Feb. 17, 2010, in which he agreed to "not directly or indirectly own, operate, consult to or be employed by any firm in a business substantially similar to or competitive with the present business of the plaintiffs or such business activity in which the plaintiffs may engage during the term in employment."

In turn, the complainants provided him access to trade secrets, customers and other financial data.

The agreement was in effect for a period of three years following the termination of employment notwithstanding the cause or reason for termination.

Finney's employment ended on Oct. 28, 2011, after which he began working for Redfish Inland Marine.

That company is a rival of Maritime Sanitation and its offices are located within approximately 100 yards of the plaintiff, the suit says.

Maritime Sanitation seeks a judgment prohibiting Finney from performing work or being employed by a company in the same business within 30 miles of its location.

The plaintiff is represented by Bettison Doyle Apffel & Guarino PC.

Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-619

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