Co-owner of technology company claims he is being forced out

By Kelly Holleran | May 6, 2013

Aware that his former co-owners of a technology company are attempting to push him out, a North Montgomery man filed a lawsuit asking that they be forced to pay him for damages he will incur from loss of his ownership in the company.

Mark McAfee filed a lawsuit April 26 in Jefferson County District Court against E. Dixon Conn III, Mark Franklin Alley and Cutting Force Technologies.

In his complaint, McAfee alleges he, Allen and Conn each agreed to form a company in an attempt to build a prototype and market a valve. The company, called Cutting Force Technologies, would be funded through $3 million that McAfee would contribute and an additional $1.5 million in liquid capital and intellectual property Conn and Alley would each contribute, according to the complaint.

Because of their investments, McAfee owns 50 percent of the company while Conn and Alley each own 25 percent, the suit states.

In October, a preliminary test for the valve proved that it was in good working order, the complaint says. Around the same time, Conn began discouraging McAfee from presenting himself at company headquarters, McAfee claims. In fact, he threatened to cease contributing to the company unless McAfee kept his distance, according to the complaint.

At some point, Conn requested a fully working prototype of the valve to show potential investors, the suit states. McAfee’s other company, CasingCut Inc., had been hired to develop the valve, the complaint says.

Complying with the request, McAfee and CasingCut agreed to release the prototype. However, soon thereafter, on March 13, 2013, Conn and Alley signed a letter which stated that Cutting Force Technologies would cease operations, according to the complaint.

They proceeded to lay off Cutting Edge’s employees, but later came to a mutual agreement to attempt to keep the company afloat, the suit states.

However, McAfee claims he continued to be left out of important documents, such as a renewed lease agreement.

In his complaint, McAfee alleges breach of contract and common law fraud against the defendants.

He seeks actual and economic damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, attorneys’ fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Brent Coon of Brent Coon and Associates in Beaumont and Scott W. Wert of Foster and Sear in Grand Prairie will be representing him.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E194-283

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