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Edco Group, Inc. D/B/A Abi Document Support Services v. Tina Goodrich

August 10, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Virginia A. Phillips United States District Judge


On March 7, 2012, Defendant EDCO Group, Inc. d/b/a ABI Document Support Services (hereinafter "ABI") filed its Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief against Defendant Tina Goodrich (hereinafter "Goodrich"). The Complaint alleges Goodrich misappropriated trade secrets from ABI. The Complaint also alleges: (1) Goodrich violated 18 U.S.C. § 1030, 18 U.S.C. § 2701 and California Penal Code § 502 by accessing ABI's secure computer network without authorization; (2) Goodrich breached written Trade Secrets and Confidential Information Agreement with ABI; (3) Goodrich breached her duty of loyalty to ABI; and (4) Goodrich violated California Business and Professions Code § 1720 by engaging in unfair competition by improperly misappropriating ABI's property.

On April 10, 2012, the parties filed a Stipulation to Stay Case Pending Forensic Review of Goodrich's Computer Devices and Electronic Communications. ABI's forensic expert has had the opportunity to perform a preliminary review of Goodrich's computer devices and electronic communications.

On July 26, 2012, ABI and Goodrich entered into a Settlement Agreement to resolve this action.

Now, therefore, ABI and Goodrich have entered into the Settlement Agreement and consented to Judgment as follows:

It is hereby adjudged, ordered and decreed that: 1. This Court has jurisdiction over ABI and Goodrich and the subject matter in this action and venue is proper in this Court.

2. ABI provides record retrieval and summarization services to clients in the legal and insurance entities. ABI maintains offices throughout California, as well as in Springfield, Missouri; Garden City, New York; Tomball, Texas; Orland, Florida; and Miami, Florida.

3. ABI's success in commercial market is highly dependent on its established relationship with its customers.

4. ABI employs account executives to market services in record retrieval and summarization services.

5. On or about March 1, 2004, ABI hired Goodrich as Account Executive Supervisor. Goodrich held several positions with ABI throughout her employment, including Client Relation Supervisor, Client Relation Specialist and Internal-Account Executive.

6. In each of the positions Goodrich held with ABI, Goodrich enjoyed access to the Company's private and confidential customer lists.

7. Over its many years of business development, ABI has compiled its list customers through various marketing efforts, customer referrals and other sources of leads that have been gathered and forwarded to ABI account executives, including Defendant, to make sales on behalf of ABI.

8. ABI's customer list is detailed account information, compiled over many years at great expense and countless hours. The list includes some or all of the following information with regard to each customer: the name, address, and phone number of the customer; the contact person; customer pricing; the amount of money previously spent by the customer; and general information related to communications with the contact person. Other types of trade secrets known to Defendant include, but are not limited to, customer feedback, complaints and customer preferences. Plaintiffs have embodied their trade secrets and confidential customer information into a computerized list, accessible via ABI's "CRM System" program. The information that ABI has developed at great expense and labor gives ABI a competitive advantage in the industry. Access to it would allow anyone outside the Company to immediately solicit customers and compete with ABI - without first having to compile the data. It is ABI's policy to keep such data confidential, and employees sign agreements agreeing to do so.

9. Account Executives also maintain customer lead lists on their work computers for the benefit of developing sales for ABI. Such private and confidential customer lead lists are only accessible by each specific Account Executive by way of their own device login username and password.

10. Throughout her career at ABI, Defendant enjoyed access to the Company's confidential customer information through the CRM System program and otherwise. Such non-public information would be of extraordinary value to competing concerns, and ...

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