Guardian Breach of Contract Suit Transferred to Virginia; Contempt Motion Denied
August 1, 2012

by Katie O'Mara,

Guardian Auto Glass, Glass America and Kenneth Staples are heading to court in Virginia. Guardian Auto Glass filed suit in Michigan against Staples, a former employee, and Glass America alleging violation of a non-competition agreement. The court has ruled in Staples favor to move the case to Virginia.

Staples requested the change of venue as a matter of convenience for the parties and witnesses involved, since the alleged breach of contract actually occurred in the commonwealth of Virginia.

“Staples is a resident of Virginia. The agreement was signed in Virginia,” read the court documents. “Guardian conducts business in Virginia and although Guardian asserts that its parent company’s headquarters is in Michigan, the entity at issue does business in Virginia. All the actions by both parties in this case, specifically the alleged breach by Staples, occurred in Virginia.”

The Michigan court also denied Guardian’s request for an order of contempt against Staples for “filing, under seal, the documents before the Virginia state court.”

“Guardian has not carried its burden that the filing of these documents before the Virginia court violated the preliminary injunction order since there is no evidence submitted that Staples provided any such documents to his current employer,” read the court documents.
Robert Staples signed an “Invention, Disclosure, Confidentiality and Non-Competition Agreement” with Guardian Auto Glass in November of 2010. According to Staples’ petition for declaratory judgment in the Virginia case, he “left Guardian Glass because he became increasingly uncomfortable with certain practices of the respondent which he believed to be unethical and possibly unlawful.”

Staples later accepted employment at a Glass America location in Fairfax, Va., which is within a 100 mile radius of the Guardian location where he was employed. Staples and Glass America received a letter from Guardian’s attorney requesting “enforcement of the provisions of the non-competition agreement” and warning of impending legal action in Michigan.

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