DataCom Sues Former Employee, Connected Technologies for Alleged Trade Secret Misappropriation

On Wednesday, DataCom Inc. filed a complaint in the Northern District of Ohio against former employee Shawn E. Campell and Connected Technologies LLC for the defendants’ alleged “ongoing misappropriation of DataCom’s trade secrets.”

According to the complaint, DataCom is “a licensed telecommunications contractor” and “provides a wide variety of telecommunications services, including, the installation of telephone systems and data networking, fire stopping, lightning and surge protection, video surveillance, access control, and cellular solution services (collectively, the ‘Services’).” DataCom noted that it typically relies on its relationship with customers and its goodwill for its business and work.

DataCom stated that defendant Campell was formerly employed as DataCom’s President and General Manager, the company’s “highest-level employee” and “responsible for making sales, generating new business, and ensuring that DataCom’s existing customer relationships remained intact,” among other things.

As a result, Campbell “was entrusted with a substantial amount of confidential information belonging to DataCom,” such as “DataCom’s contractual terms with customers and third party vendors, customer lists, pricing information, bid proposals, project specifications and technical data,” among other things, which Campbell was only supposed to use for the sole benefit of DataCom and to perform his employment duties.

However, Campbell allegedly “surreptitiously formed and began competing with DataCom through his new business, Connected Technologies, while he was still actively employed and being compensated by DataCom.” In particular, DataCom claimed that Campell “copied confidential and proprietary information from DataCom’s electronic databases” while he was still working at DataCom, which the defendants have purportedly “already used that confidential and proprietary information to steal at least one project (the Western Transit Reserve Authority project) from DataCom.”

The complaint detailed Campbell’s alleged efforts to steal the plaintiff’s confidential information, adding that the defendants continued their purported unlawful conduct despite being issued a cease and desist.

The counts against both defendants include violations of the Defend Trade Secrets Act and Ohio Uniform Trade Secrets Act and breach of fiduciary duty, and, against just Campbell, breach of employee duty of loyalty. DataCom seeks an injunction, an award for damages, disgorgement of all ill-gotten gains, an award for costs and fees, and other relief.

DataCom is represented by Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman P.C.