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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37135
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Our for Director of Operations (family member) of 11 years

Resolved Question:

Our for Director of Operations (family member) of 11 years secretly started planning his own business while working for us. We at the time had a serious lawsuit we were dealing with, he used this to his advantage and told the employees we were going to have to go bankrupt. He quit, without notice, took 17 of our employees with him. Paid them more money etc. Wrote down all our contacts, for all of our customers. Contacts that took years to build. We are in the road construction business and he started contacting customers, equipment companies, insurance, all while still working for us. I have the phone records. He went down the street in our old building that we were in business for 11 years and basically put a new name on our 55 yr old company. It is almost 2 years later and we are pretty much out of business. He new our numbers for bidding and cut them to a price that was hard to compete with and also not having our employees to do our current contracts. We have been told we have a lawsuit. Any information would be greatly appreciated. We are a small business that has worked very hard to get where we did and now its all gone. My husband has suffered tremendous stress over this. I just need a direction to start in. Please help with any information.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I do agree, you do have a potential suit here, specifically on the basis of "tortious interference with a business interest'. This is a civil violation or tort that you can pursue if you can show that someone is (1) intentionally aware of existence of valid contractual relationships between you and third parties or a valid business expectancy of a contract between you and third party, (2) the defendant is aware and has knowledge of this relationship or expectancy, (3) he intentionally interferes with the defendant by inducing a breach of contract or a breach in the expectancy, and (4) there are damages.

In addition, there is arguably a fiduciary duty violation and breach of duty owed to the company as a whole when he began competing exactly against the company which he was an officer of. Both of those major claims, including the lesser claims such as fraud, misrepresentation, and potentially a claim for 'conversion' (theft) of documents can be pursued.

This is a suit that you can pursue via a business law attorney that has experience both with litigation and contracts. These are fairly complex claims so retaining counsel is wise. Consider browsing the listings at www.avvo.com and www.martindale.com for local counsel who may be able to assist you.

Good luck!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

We did not have him sign a non-compete, will this have any effect on whether we can still pursue? And could I also sue the our former salesman who is working for him and using our contact lists? And another employee that is also working for him handed in his phone with all the contacts deleted. Very important contacts. Could we have a case against him as well. And what is the statue of limitations on cases like this?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Kim,

Thank you for your follow-up. My answer assumed that there was no non-compete agreement in place, because if there was, he would also be potentially able to be sued for breach of contract. Competing directly against you would not be a violation, but what matters is HOW he was competing--here, he was using internal information to disrupt and undercut you, since he knew those pricepoints and also stole their contact information. You likewise may have a claim against the other emplyee for conversion (theft) of business documents. Florida would have a 4 year statute in this instance for your claims of damage to you business.

Good luck!

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37135
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you very much!!!!


I now have a direction.


Have a great evening...

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