RAM TOOL & SUPPLY COMPANY, INC. v. HD SUPPLY CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY LTD., ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Jul 22, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joseph R. Welborn, III, and Jason W. Callen, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ram Tool and Supply Co., Inc.

Attorneys 2:

Thor Y. Urness, Edmund S. Sauer, and Kristi Wilcox Arth, Nashville, Tennessee, and John W. Smith T, Birmingham, Alabama, for the appellees, White Cap Construction Supply and Robert Maples.

Judge(s): BENNETT

A construction tools and materials distribution company filed a complaint against one of its former employees for unlawfully recruiting some of the plaintiff company's other employees to work for a competitor, alleging breach of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty. The plaintiff company also named as defendants the competing company and one of the competitor's employees, asserting these defendants aided and abetted its employee's breach of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty. The plaintiff company further alleged all the defendants were liable for engaging in a civil conspiracy. All parties moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the defendants' motions on the basis that the plaintiff company's claims were preempted by the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”). On appeal, we hold that the plaintiff company asserted viable claims against the defendants that do not depend on the company's trade secrets and are, therefore, not preempted by TUTSA. The trial court's judgment dismissing the plaintiff company's claims for breach of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty, aiding and abetting, and civil conspiracy is reversed, and the case is remanded.

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