Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Synthes Sales filed a breach of contract lawsuit against a pair of former sales reps who jumped ship for Sky Surgical, a distributor for rival medical device company Globus Medical (NYSE:GMED).
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia, alleges that Michael Jones and Jacob Schools broke the employee secrecy, intellectual property, non-competition and non-solicitation provisions of their employment contracts.
The pair started as sales reps for DePuy distributor Quizmo in eastern Virginia before joining DePuy Synthes itself, according to court documents.
Jones resigned in November 2012 and Smalls quit in December of last year, according to the documents. Jones told his former employer that he’d be working for a Globus distributor, the documents allege, but "ignored further inquiries from DePuy Synthes concerning whether he actually had accepted a position with a Globus distributor, the identity of the Globus distributor, and the details of the job he would be performing."
For his part, Schools said he’d be leaving the spinal implant business to get into software development, according to the documents.
"At no time did Schools disclose to DePuy Synthes that he was contemplating or had accepted employment with Sky Surgical," the documents claim. "Jones and Schools have accepted employment with Sky Surgical representing Globus spinal implant products. On information and belief, Jones and Schools have been servicing the same accounts, either directly or indirectly through others, in which they had been representing DePuy Synthes products."
DePuy wants the court to bar Jones and Schools from working for Sky Surgical or any other competitor until the summer of 2014 and the return of any confidential information the pair retains. The lawsuit also seeks compensatory damages from Jones, Schools and Sky Surgical of $1 million each; punitive damages from Sky Surgical of $350,000; triple damages; permanent injunctions and legal costs.