GALVESTON - A Dickinson baseball training facility believes a former employee is siphoning its business by teaching its students independently despite an agreement not to do so, recent court documents say.

Hardball Baseball Academy argues that Jared Pitts of Friendswood continued to coach its clients even after his resignation.

The alleged action is a violation of an agreement between the school and Pitts, according to the original petition filed March 30 in Galveston County District Court.

The suit states that Hardball and Pitts entered into the contract in question on April 23, 2008, in which the defendant was obligated to provide personal services in the forms of baseball and softball instruction to the baseball academy students for one year.

The academy has exclusive rights to anyone who has participated in any activity it hosts and all instruction will be done through the academy unless special permission is given, according to the plaintiff.

Pitts quit his position more than a year after signing the agreement, but kept instructing Hardball students "for his own benefit, and in violation of the express terms of the parties' agreement," the suit says.

"By diverting the plaintiff's business away from the plaintiff... the defendant has tortiously interfered with the plaintiff's existing and prospective business relationships and contracts, in a manner and to such a degree that its conduct goes far beyond the limitations or protections of any legitimate and lawful competition," it states.

The plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Galveston attorney Thomas W. McQuage is representing Hardball, and Galveston County Court No. 1 Judge Mary Nell Crapitto is presiding over the case.

Cause No. 62,589

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