A Dallas judge threw out all claims against a C-level hospitality executive whose former employer accused him of violating his employment agreement, misappropriating trade secrets, and tortiously interfering with customer and employee relationships.
Judge Carl Ginsberg, of Dallas’ 193rd District Court, granted a Motion for Directed Verdict on October 24 after two days of trial, dismissing all claims asserted against Clouse Brown’s client. The former Vice President of Sales at Innvision Hospitality Inc. left Innvision in 2013 to become Chief Operating Officer of Snowhite Textile and Furnishings, Inc. Both companies provide furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) procurement services for hotel construction and renovation projects.
After the executive left Innvision, four Innvision sales people reached out to him, seeking employment at Snowhite. Innvision filed suit against the executive and his new employer. Innvision claimed those contacts violated the executive’s nonsolicitation agreement. The company also accused its former executive of breaching confidentiality provisions of his agreement, of misappropriating trade secrets, and tortiously interfering with employee and customer relationships.
Judge Ginsberg found insuffient evidence was introduced to establish any of Innvision’s claims against Clouse Brown’s client and dismissed the executive from the lawsuit. The executive was represented by Clouse Brown name partner Alyson Brown.
“Employment agreements should protect both parties, but Innvision was trying to enforce an overly broad agreement with my client in an unreasonable manner,” Ms. Brown says. “We established that my client had complied with his agreement and had not breached any duties to Innvision.”
“My client is an ethical, hard-working executive,” Ms. Brown says. “He has faced adversity before, having escaped from Iraq as a teenager to find a better life in the United States. He put himself through college, worked his way up in the hotel industry, and found his niche in FF&E procurement. It’s truly unfortunate that his hard work and success resulted in litigation, but we are grateful that he can return to his business and family without the cloud of unfounded claims, and with his name and reputation restored.”
This is Clouse Brown’s second notable win in as many months. In September, the firm won a $3.7 million verdict against Crossroads Christian Church for failing to provide supplemental retirement benefits to its former Executive Pastor and his wife, both of whom served the church for more than 20 years.
“Whether representing executives or employers, we try to achieve our clients’ business objectives without the cost of litigation,” Ms. Brown says. “When negotiation is unsuccessful, however, we fight for our clients in the courtroom. Our team has decades of courtroom experience, and a commitment to winning cases for our clients.”
About Clouse Brown PLLC
Clouse Brown is a Dallas-based employment law boutique. The firm represents senior executives, business owners, physicians, corporations and others in a variety of complex employment litigation, arbitration and negotiations.