BATON ROUGE — The Hunter's Run Gun Club and the Great International Land Company recently filed suit against its former manager in the U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, alleging that Baker's unfair trade practices and other wrongful actions led to irreparable injury, loss and damage to the gun club.
In the suit, which was filed on March 23 against Eddie D. Baker, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant had unlawful access to stored communications, breached his fiduciary duty, violated the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act, interfered with business relations, exceeded his authority, committed fraud and negligence and unjustly made money.
According to the complaint, Baker had access to Hunters Run’s trade secrets, client information, internal financial information, business practices and methods and marketing material and emails. Baker also allegedly had access to information in the gun club’s computers and software, which included future business platforms and confidential information.
Baker had been an employee at the Hunter's Run Gun Club since 2004 and was the sole manager from June 2013 to Aug. 9, 2016.
Baker also was responsible for the maintenance of the gun club and keeping good working relationships with event organizers, sponsors, members and guests. The complaint also stipulated that Baker owed fiduciary duties of loyalty and fidelity to the gun club.
The complaint claims that Baker had conspired with Sheriff Mike Cazes of West Baton Rouge to obtain the gun store's trade secrets to put the gun club out of business. They allegedly did this by failing to maintain equipment, properly account for cash and took actions that caused several annual events to be canceled by the event organizers.
At the same time, Baker was conspiring to take over the gun club’s business by convincing the law enforcement district to cancel its lease with Great International Land Company.
The complaint alleges that Baker let the grounds become overgrown and fall into a state of disrepair.
Baker was eventually fired on Aug. 9, 2016. Before being dismissed, Baker allegedly accessed a protected computer and obtained private club information.
"Baker acted negligently and with disregard to the duties he owed to Hunter's Run when he misappropriated and/or and disseminated confidential and proprietary information belonging to Hunter's Run," the complaint said.
In a letter dated Sept. 14, Great International Land Company was informed that the law enforcement district intended to open negotiations with other entities that may be interested in renting the property to provide gun club services.
That set the wheels in motion as the district issued a public bid notice that requested proposals to lease the Hunter's Run Gun Club's commercial property.
The complaint alleges that Baker further conspired with Cazes to award the bid to Keith Morris, Baker’s friend and associate.
On Oct. 25, Hunter's End submitted a 30-page proposal, the mandatory bid deposit, and a proposed an annual rent of $54,000. Morris, on behalf of Sugar West, submitted a three-page bid, with no bid deposit, and a proposed annual rent of $42,000.
The district awarded the bid to Morris at $4,000 per month on Nov. 23.
In response, Hunter's Run and Great International filed a temporary restraining order, and it was granted by the district court on the grounds that the district failed to comply with the Louisiana Public Lease Law.
On Jan. 26, the district published a second notice that largely mirrored Sugar West’s initial bid.
On Feb, 13, Bridgeview Gun Club was awarded the lease and Baker was hired as general manager.
As a result of Mr. Baker’s prolonged unfair trade practices and other wrongful actions, Hunter's Run has suffered irreparable injury, loss and damage,’’ the complaint said.