NEW YORK A.M.
Castle & Co. has filed a lawsuit against a former employee
and his new employer, accusing them of using confidential
information gained from the distributor to compete against
Castle in the oil patch.
Byrne provided Oilfield Steel Supply LLC (OSS) with the
customer contacts and sales data that he purloined from Castle
prior to his resignation, and defendant Byrne and defendant OSS
have been unfairly pursuing Castles customers based on
the use of this stolen information," lawyers at Chicago-based
Fisher & Phillips LLP wrote on behalf of the distributor in
a filing in U.S. District Court in Illinois.
"We do take
confidentiality obligations very seriously and we will
vigorously pursue legal remedies when we believe that these
obligations have been breached," an A.M. Castle spokesman
Byrne and OSS declined
Byrne worked for the
Oak Brook, Ill.-based distributor as an inside sales
representative, supplying the oil and gas industry in Houston
with "pipe and materials," according to the filing.
He allegedly collected
confidential information in the months prior to his April 30
departure from Castle by sending e-mails to "his home e-mail
account and to an e-mail account that appears to be in his
wifes name," the filing said.
included Byrnes largest customer accounts, e-mail
addresses for contacts of roughly 50 of Castles customers
and vendors, financial data for Castle covering the past three
years, performance data on Castles sales personnel, lists
of open transactions and monthly and daily sales reports,
according to the filing.
The distributor is
looking to prevent Byrne and OSS from using the documents,
asking for their return and seeking an unspecified amount in
damages due to the harm caused by OSS competing against Castle
with the confidential information, the filing said.