Globaltech Offshores says employees engaged in espionage

Michelle Keahey Oct. 3, 2011, 7:54am


A California corporation has filed a $6 million lawsuit against five former employees for misappropriation of trade secrets and civil conspiracy.

Globaltech Offshore Inc. filed suit against Victor Hugo Proy, Edgar Ramon Mayorquin, Enrique Jesus Paez, Mathew Devassykutty and Liliana Chavez on Sept. 16 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the allegations, beginning in 2005, the former employees were hired by Globaltech as part of a new international field-service engineer team to serve Globaltech's clients in the global maritime oil and gas exploration and development industry.

The employees expanded Globaltech's business in Mexico as well as in Louisiana, Egypt, Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

Globaltech states the success of its team caught the attention of Kongsberg Maritime and Kongsberg Underwater Technology Inc., which are major suppliers of dynamic positioning equipment and services in the global maritime oil and gas exploration and development industry. By 2009, Globaltech and Kongsberg were in negotiations for service agreements.

According to the complaint, Kongsberg canceled their agreements with Globaltech in October 2010. By February 2011, the employees allegedly had quit Globaltech and were subsequently hired by Kongsberg.

The former employees are accused of breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contract and business relations, fraudulent concealment, misrepresentation, unfair trade practices, misappropriation of trade secrets and civil conspiracy.

The defendants are accused of acting "dishonestly or fraudulently scheming to undermine Globaltech's business; by posing as loyal employees of Globaltech when in fact they were in engaged in industrial espionage; by accepting pay and training from Global tech under false pretense; by breaching the trust that was reasonably placed in each defendant (and the team as a whole) by Globaltech; by misusing Globaltech's confidential information, even after they had separated from Globaltech's employment; and by transferring Globaltech's confidential information and trade secrets to the new Kongsberg Mexico entity for the defendants' individual and collective benefit."

In addition to the more than $6 million in damages, the plaintiff is asking for an award of statutory penalties, interest, costs and attorney's fees.

Globaltech Offshore is represented by David B. Sharpe and Kristen V. Gresham of Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Martin L. C. Feldman is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02321

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