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JUDGMENT – Contract – Violation of Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act - Breach of Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing – Former employee used the confidential information to compete with the plaintiff.

Windham County, CT

In this matter, the plaintiff corporation alleged that the defendant – a former employee and his company – violated state trade practices statutes and the duty of good faith and fair dealing when they used misappropriated trade secrets to compete with the plaintiff business. The plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages.

The plaintiff and the defendant worked to develop, manufacture, and distribute quality exhaust systems for the ________ 1/2 to ________ line of Ford Mustangs. The parties entered into a contract and began to work to develop the desired exhaust systems. The plaintiff’s predecessor was to supply the defendant with the exhaust systems it designed and manufactured using a tube bending machine. When the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant deteriorated, the defendant stopped purchasing exhaust systems from the plaintiff and began to make its own exhaust systems. The plaintiff contended that the defendant misappropriated its trade secrets, and began making the same product using the plaintiff’s information and trade secrets. The plaintiff brought suit alleging that the defendants violated the state’s Trade Secrets Act, the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, and breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing.

The defendants denied the allegations, and disputed that there had been any wrongdoing on the defendant’s part. The defendants argued that the development of the custom exhaust systems was a joint venture, and they did not misappropriate the plaintiff’s trade secrets.The matter proceeded to a bench trial. At the conclusion of the trial, the court determined that the plaintiff had failed to meet its burden of proof. As such, the court entered judgment for the defendant.

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