Defense of $8.0 Million Claim for Theft of Trade Secrets; Employee Disloyalty; Breach of Non-solicitation Agreement; Aiding and Abetting

Our client, a very large truck parts supply company, hired the top two managers of plaintiff’s North Dakota branch, with employment to start after a new branch office was built out by client. After waiting in place for three and one-half months, the managers resigned without notice and immediately began recruiting plaintiff’s employees – and were successful in getting 55% of the work force to join our client. The managers and all employees were “at will,” but one of the managers had a non-solicitation agreement and the new employees brought customer lists with them. Plaintiff contended that the employee “lift out” irreparably destroyed their North Dakota business. After a three-week jury trial in North Dakota federal court, the jury returned a defense verdict on all counts.