BATON ROUGE – A non-compete agreement is the subject of a court case between a former employee and Hempel Inc.
Merlie Fuselier and B&H Distributors Inc. filed a lawsuit on Feb. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana against Hempel Inc. over claims that the non-compete contract between the parties is invalid.
Fuselier claims he was a former employee of Hempel, a manufacturer of industrial paints and coatings, from October 2013 to December 2015. He allegedly signed a non-disclosure, non-compete and non-solicitation agreement with the company, but was not sure if the defendant signed the contract and was not allegedly given a copy of it. Fuselier claims that the agreement did not go into specifics of the prohibitions placed on him. He alleges that Hempel hired him in order to obtain his client base.
In January, the suit states that Fuselier resigned from Hempel due to the alleged failure from Hempel to provide support and timely products to a client of Fuselier. On Jan. 15, Fuselier became associated with B&H, the suit states. Hempel has allegedly tried to enforce the non-compete agreement, but both plaintiffs allege that it is invalid because the non-compete agreement did not provide specifics on the time, geographical locations, or duties in which Fuselier is prohibited from doing.
Fuselier is seeking a declaratory judgment against Hempel stating that the non-compete is invalid and unenforceable and B&H is seeking actual damages and prejudgment and post-judgment interest. Both are seeking a jury trial. They are represented by Paul G. Preston and Linda M. Uzee from The Preston Law Firm in New Orleans.
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana Case number 3:16-cv-00092-SDD-RLB