GRETNA – A local salon is suing one of its former massage therapists for violating a non-compete clause included in her employment contract.

H2O Hair Inc. and H2O Spa and Salon filed suit against Kristin Romans Bullard in the 24th Judicial District Court on July 1.

H2O claims that Bullard began working for its company on Feb. 9, 2009 and she signed a non-compete clause in her employment contract disallowing her from directly competing for two years following her employment. The plaintiff alleges that on Dec. 9, 2011 the defendant gave notice of her resignation so she could take care of her mother who was suffering from an illness. H2O asserts it found out Bullard was in the process of setting up a competing spa and was pursuing the necessary licensing, purchasing spa equipment and setting up utility services before she left their employment.  The plaintiff claims the according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website the defendant created a limited liability company named Nature’s Escape before she left their employment and was as an official member. H20 also asserts that shortly after Bullard left their employment she opened a spa by that name at 816 Hickory Ave. in Harahan.

The defendant is accused of soliciting or pirating clients, engaging in a business in direct competition with the plaintiff and misappropriating confidential customer information.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for lost revenue and profits, impairment of goodwill and business reputation, loss of customers, impairment of value of confidential information, cost of expenses to remediate losses, litigation costs, punitive damage and attorney’s fees.

H2O is represented by Edmund W. Golden of Metairie-based Golden & Fonte.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Nancy A. Miller.

Case no. 728-499.

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