Fredrikson non-compete litigators achieved yet another favorable result for our client Traffic Tech, a third-party logistics company based in Chicago.
Blue-Grace Logistics, LLC, sued four former employees for purportedly failing to abide by restrictive covenants in their employment contracts, also suing Traffic Tech for allegedly interfering with those contractual relationships. Our client countered sued, asserting that Blue-Grace tortiously interfered with their business relationships and violated Florida’s Deception and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA).
Upon joining Blue-Grace, the four individual defendants signed an extensive employment agreement governed by Florida law, which included a confidentiality and nondisclosure clause, a non-solicitation clause and a non-competition clause that purported to prohibit the former employees from working for a competing logistics company anywhere in the United States for two years after their employment ended. All four resigned between November 2020 and March 2021, accepting positions at Traffic Tech within the two-year period specified in the non competition provision. Blue-Grace claimed that the defendants acquired confidential and proprietary information while employed at the company and misappropriated that information after their employment ended.
Following extensive procedural motion practice in both state and federal court in Florida, Blue-Grace moved for summary judgment on its claims and Traffic Tech’s counterclaims. The defendants in turn moved for summary judgment on Blue-Grace’s claims. They also moved for sanctions because Blue-Grace “shirked its obligation to disclose and support [their] purported damages under Rule 26.”
The Court granted summary judgment in the defendants’ favor on each of Blue-Grace’s claims. The Court further denied summary judgment on defendants’ counterclaims, meaning that the counterclaims would proceed to a jury trial.
According to the court’s ruling, Blue-Grace failed to point to more than generic statements of confidential information and substantial relationships and failed to identify evidence showing that it had a legitimate business interest justifying the restrictive covenants in the defendants’ contracts.