Foley & Lardner LLP announced today that it has secured a favorable outcome for its clients in a Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) case, precluding a bid for $42 million in damages by the plaintiff.
The jury awarded $1.7 million in TUTSA damages, however, in doing so apportioned 95% of the responsibility for the damages on a settling party and 5% on one single individual defendant. Foley’s strategy to push responsibility for damages on the settling parties resulted in a substantial decrease of the TUTSA individual damages award and a reduction of exemplary damages to $100,000. A conspiracy claim will be appealed.
Houston-based DistributionNOW had filed suit for anti-competitive activity against 13 individuals associated with a competing company, Permian Pump & Valve, including 12 former employees of Odessa Pumps represented by Foley, a business previously sold in 2015 to Distribution NOW, a supplier of energy and industrial products. The 12 former employees were not subject to non-competition or non-solicitation contracts.
Partner Rachel Powitzky Steely, who led Foley’s all-women trial team in its defense of the 12 individual former Odessa Pumps employees, said of the verdict, “In a major victory for our clients, DNOW’s bid for $42 million in damages was denied by a Fort Bend County jury. The small damage award will likely be appealed, and we believe a successful appeal of the damages will be forthcoming.”
Foley’s trial team also included Partner Jessica Mason, Senior Counsel Katherine Harrington, Associate Taylor Appling, and Paralegal Gaylyn Kinsley.
Foley & Lardner LLP is a preeminent law firm that stands at the nexus of the energy, health care and life sciences, innovative technology, and manufacturing sectors. We look beyond the law to focus on the constantly evolving demands facing our clients and act as trusted business advisors to deliver creative, practical, and effective solutions. Our 1,100 lawyers across 25 offices worldwide partner on the full range of engagements from corporate counsel to IP work and litigation support, providing our clients with a one-team solution to all their needs. For nearly two centuries, Foley has maintained its commitment to the highest level of innovative legal services and to the stewardship of our people, firm, clients, and the communities we serve.