Minnich Enterprises claims 'disgruntled' former employees trying to ruin business

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 27, 2013

GALVESTON - Minnich Enterprises LLC is suing two former employees for allegedly trying to ruin its business, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed May 20 in Galveston County District Court argues that Joseph Fairley, of Purvis, Miss., and Donald Toothman, of Springfield, Tenn., "are two disgruntled ex-employees (who) are waging a campaign against Minnich in an attempt to steal business and to retaliate against (the plaintiff) for not doing business 'their way.'"

The suit claims the defendants have made and are making false and misleading statements to Minnich's customers, funding and bonding sources, and insurers, adding the men have filed or encouraged others to file false claims against projects on which the complainant worked.

The respondents have secreted or destroyed company property such as 44 hydraulic jacks worth more than $10,000; computer software worth in excess of $2,500; and project data the value of which "cannot be easily determined," according to the original petition.

Minnich insists the purported acts violated the restrictive convenants it signed with the defendants and constituted tortious interference with business relations and "are done in bad faith."

"These actions began while they were still working with Minnich and have continued since their separation from Minnich," the suit says.

Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox granted the plaintiff a temporary restraining order on May 20.

A hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., June 3.

Attorney John A. Buckley Jr. of Greer, Herz & Adams L.L.P. in League City is representing Minnich.

Case No. 13-CV-688

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