CME Operations, LLC Files Action Against Former Employees; Senior Mining Engineer Tom Claridge and Chief Geologist Steve Eady, Currently of Tara Minerals
DALLAS, TX, Jan 09, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- CME Operations, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company with focus on the mining business in Mexico, has filed suit against two former employees, Tom Claridge and Steve Eady, asserting numerous causes of action including breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, fraud and conversion.
As part of their suit, CME was granted a temporary restraining order to prevent these former employees from using or disclosing confidential information and intellectual property they absconded with prior to their resignation. CME alleges defendants took numerous files, contacts, and other intellectual property proprietary to CME. After reviewing the evidence, the court issued the injunction preventing the defendants from using CME's materials or interfering with CME's business opportunities irreparable harm to the company. As a result, if Mr. Claridge or Mr. Eady continues to pursue CME contacts or use confidential information, they would be in contempt of court and could be subject to criminal and civil penalties.
CME hired the men in August of 2011 to work on specific mining projects related to a joint venture between a client of CME and Tara Minerals Corp., a small U.S.-based exploration company with mining concessions in Mexico. Mr. Claridge and Mr. Eady were given access to confidential information, corporate contacts, and other proprietary information to perform their duties as executives of CME. On September 30, 2011, each unexpectedly resigned from CME without the required notice.
CME's lawsuit alleges that shortly after the men were hired, they began to work on their own behalf to the detriment of CME by using CME's proprietary information to usurp corporate opportunities to benefit themselves and their future employer Tara Minerals, and by misappropriating and delivering confidential information to third parties not authorized to receive such information, including Tara Minerals. CME alleges, prior to their resignation, Mr. Claridge and Mr. Eady received information regarding the quality of ore in certain mines that was withheld from CME but which they used to secure commitments from potential investors and purchasers. Rather than informing CME of these commitments, they resigned and directed those commitments to Tara who shortly thereafter announced the hiring of Mr. Claridge and Mr. Eady. The defendant's actions have irreparably damaged the relationship between CME, CME's client, and Tara Minerals. Furthermore by hiring the Defendants, Tara has breached the terms of its joint venture agreement with CME's client.
Tara is not a party of the lawsuit at this time.
The case was filed in the 134th District Court in Dallas County, Texas, cause no DC-11-1542 and is styled CME Operations, LLC and Carnegie Mining and Exploration, Inc. vs. Tom Claridge, Steve Eady, and Jeff Holt. Plaintiffs are represented by Robert F. Kemp in Dallas, Texas. Defendants are represented by Steven R. Pierret of Hill Gilstrap, P.C. in Arlington, Texas.