Industrial salesman sues previous employer for fraud

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau May 7, 2012, 12:00pm


MARSHALL - After losing his job after seven months of employment, an industrial salesman has filed a lawsuit against his previous employer that claims he was fraudulently hired in order for the company to obtain his confidential sales list.

James E. Davis filed suit against General Rubber Corp. on May 5 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Working in the same industry as General Rubber since 2000, Davis developed a contact list that included power generation plants and operators to which he sold specialized sealing devices.

Davis was hired by the defendant in July 2011 and divulged his confidential contact list to General Rubber. According to the lawsuit, in return for the contact list, General Rubber promised to employ Davis until age 66.

He was terminated from General Rubber on Feb. 13 and was told to sign a Separation Terms and General Release Agreement or he would not receive any type of severance benefits.

Davis claims that he signed the agreement under duress, which makes the agreement invalid and unenforceable.

The defendant is accused of fraudulent inducement for agreeing to employ Davis until the age of 66 in exchange for his client list and for only allowing Davis two hours to sign the Separation Agreement in order to receive benefits.

General Rubber is also accused of trade secret misappropriation, civil theft, conversion, and breach of employment contract.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of damages for lost wages and benefits, actual damages, attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

Davis is represented by Scott C. Skelton and Erika L. Neill of Zeleskey Law Firm in Lufkin and J. Mark Mann and G. Blake Thompson of The Mann Firm in Henderson.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00269

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