Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chicagoland Aviation, LLC: Requested Injunction Against Former Flight Instructor Crashes At Take-Off

By Peter Steinmeyer 

 A federal judge in Chicago recently wrestled with two issues that we frequently blog about: what constitutes misappropriation of confidential information, and to what extent can a current employee prepare to compete with his employer without breaching his fiduciary duty?

In Chicagoland Aviation, LLC v. Richard R. Todd, et al., flight instructor Richard Todd left his job and started a rival business. Shortly thereafter, Chicagoland Aviation sued him for, among other things, breaching his fiduciary duty by allegedly misappropriating confidential information and starting a competing business while still employed by Chicagoland Aviation. Chicagoland Aviation eventually requested a preliminary injunction, which the court denied.

The court began its analysis of Chicagoland Aviation’s breach of fiduciary duty claim by summarizing the background legal principles: “[g]enerally, employees have a duty not to improperly compete with their employer, solicit the employer’s customers, entice co-workers away from the employer, divert business opportunities, engage in self-dealing, and/or otherwise misappropriate the employer’s property or funds.”

Regarding the purported theft of confidential information, the court concluded that the information at issue was either not confidential or not misappropriated.

Read more:

Case: 1:12-cv-01139 Document #: 137 Filed: 11/27/12


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