Texas Judge Grants TRO Against Dairy Executive’s Employment with Rival Company Due to Noncompete Agreement

Austin Oil and Gas Attorney, Gregory D. Jordan

Austin Oil and Gas Attorney, Gregory D. Jordan

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 29, 2018 – A Texas judge granted a temporary restraining order preventing a food and beverage company executive from working for a rival dairy company, based on alleged violation of a noncompetition agreement.

Dean Foods alleged that Brett Johnson, its former vice president of operations, was likely to contact former customers and disclose trade secrets in violation of a noncompetition, nonsolicitation and nondisclosure agreement he signed. Judge Jim Jordan blocked Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) from employing Johnson and set a hearing on the request for a temporary injunction filed by Dean Foods.

“Under Texas law, a covenant not to compete must be ancillary to an otherwise enforceable agreement and reasonable in terms of time, geographical area and scope of activity to be restrained,” said Gregory D. Jordan, an Austin, Texas employment attorney with the Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan, who has been handling noncompete litigation for almost 30 years. “An interesting and not so common issue in this case involves the ‘inevitable disclosure’ principle,” noted Jordan.

Dean Foods claims that Johnson’s work at DFA will “unquestionably” require the disclosure of confidential information, which will provide DFA with a competitive advantage over Dean Foods. Dean Foods accuses DFA of intentional interference with business relations and accuses Johnson of breach of contract. It accuses both of unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Dean Foods said that Johnson had worked for the company since 1982 and 4,000 employees ultimately reported to him. Dean Foods said that in exchange for protective provisions including the noncompetition and nonsolicitation clauses in Johnson’s contract, the company provided lucrative incentive compensation, including restricted stock units. Dean Foods said that Johnson was offered a severance agreement in June, in which he agreed that the protective provisions, including the noncompetition agreement, were still in full force.

To learn more, visit http://www.theaustintriallawyer.com/

Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan
5608 Parkcrest Drive, Suite 310
Austin, Texas 78731
Call: 512-419-0684

View Larger Map

  • Texas lawsuit filed claiming waste management firm engaged in tortious interference with contracts
    A Texas waste management company filed a lawsuit in a state court claiming that a competitor engaged in tortious interference with contracts. Waste Connections of Texas alleges in the complaint that Rubicon Global repeatedly hired local car-towing companies to “unlawfully remove” waste storage containers owned by Waste Connections. The lawsuit claims that Rubicon did this […]
  • Texas appeals court rules on consent provision in oil lease case
    A Texas appeals court eliminated a $27.7 million judgment against an oil and gas company in a dispute over a drilling farmout agreement, ruling that the contract permitted the company to withhold consent to an assignment of the agreement. Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. had appealed a jury verdict finding it liable for fraud, breach […]
  • Texas telecommunications company sues Comcast claiming tortious interference
    A small Texas telecommunications company has filed a lawsuit against cable giant Comcast, alleging tortious interference with contract. In the lawsuit, Anthony Luna claims Comcast dug up and destroyed cables owned by his company, Telecom Cable. Luna alleges that Comcast workers cut cables and disrupted service to his customers in the Houston area. The complaint […]