Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Synthes leveled a breach of contract lawsuit against a sales rep who quit to work for rival Zimmer Biomet (NYSE:ZBH), alleging that he poached his former customers for his new employer.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania, alleges that Mario Schackelman jumped ship for Zimmer Biomet on Oct. 31 after a decade of selling for Synthes in California’s San Fernando Valley despite clauses in his contract barring him for working for a competitor for two years.
The complaint, filed Dec. 11, alleges that Schackelman “actively solicited the business of the Synthes customers in his former territory” for Zimmer, “armed with the extensive body of confidential and trade secret information entrusted to him and developed during his eight-plus years of employment in Synthes’ Trauma division.”
DePuy Synthes alleged that Schackelman broke the confidentiality, non-solicitation and non-competition clauses in his contract. The company asked the court for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction barring him from contacting his former Synthes clients.
Citing a deal that Schackelman “will refrain from any commercial activities in defendant’s former DePuy Synthes accounts while the parties attempt to resolve this matter, Judge Petrese Tucker dismissed the TRO bid as moot earlier this week, according to court documents.
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