Belron US Files Suit Against Coast to Coast and Former Employee; Alleges Employee is Violating Non-Compete
October 14, 2009

Belron US filed a lawsuit last week against Coast to Coast Auto Glass LLC and a former employee who now works for Coast to Coast, Eugene Casole. Belron alleges that Casole, a resident of Voorhees, N.J., previously worked with the company, and in September 2005 signed an employment agreement in which Casole is alleged to have agreed to "non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions." The agreement was supposed to continue for one year following termination of Casole's employment, according to Belron US.

Casole was terminated from his most recent position with Belron US, division manager for the areas of Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pa., Capitol Heights, Md., and Alexandria, Va., in January 2009; Belron US officials say he received a severance and post-termination bonus payment of more than $180,000 at that time.

Belron US alleges that recently, however, Casole took a position as a "consultant or independent contractor in violation of the terms of the Employment Agreement" with Coast to Coast Auto Glass.

The company further claims that Coast to Coast "was fully advised of the existence and content of Casole's Employment Agreement with Belron US, including the non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality contractual obligations contained therein, prior to engaging Casole's services."

Under the terms of the non-compete agreement, Belron US alleges Casole agreed that he would not "engage or have a financial interest in any business that is involved in any automotive glass replacement or repair business or any other business that competes with the Company's then current or planned business … "

The company goes on to allege that in his position with Belron US, Casole was privy to proprietary information that would "provide a competitor with a substantial and unfair competitive advantage."

Company officials have allegedly contacted both Casole and Coast to Coast "on multiple occasions in writing of their obligations under the [agreements]."

The company is seeking injunctive relief and damages for charges of breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, and tortuous interference.

Belron US also is requesting a trial by jury. The case was filed late last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by Belron US counsel Robert V. Dell'Osa of Cozen O'Connor in Cherry Hill, N.J.

At press time, neither Belron US spokesperson Jenny Cain nor Coast to Coast spokesperson Jigna Patel had responded to requests for comment.

CLICK HERE for full text of complaint.

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