Ram Tool & Supply Co. v. HD Supply Constr. Supply Ltd.

Full title: RAM TOOL & SUPPLY COMPANY, INC. v. HD SUPPLY CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY LTD., ET AL

Court: COURT OF APPEALS OF TENNESSEE AT NASHVILLE

Date published: Jul 21, 2016

Facts

Joseph P. BinkleyJr.Judge A construction tools and materials distribution company filed a complaint against one of its former employees for unlawfully recruiting some of the plaintiff company’s other employees to work for a competitor, alleging breach of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty. The plaintiff company also named as defendants the competing company and one of the competitor’s employees, asserting these defendants aided and abetted its employee’s breach of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty. The plaintiff company further alleged all the defendants were liable for engaging in a civil conspiracy. All parties moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the defendants’ motions on the basis that the plaintiff company’s claims were preempted by the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”). On appeal, we hold that the plaintiff company asserted viable claims against the defendants that do not depend on the company’s trade secrets and are, therefore, not preempted by TUTSA.

Issue

Decision

The trial court’s judgment awarding the Defendants summary judgment is reversed with regard to Ram Tool’s claim against Mr. Pruitt for breach of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty; its claim against Mr. Maples and White Cap for aiding and abetting Mr. Pruitt’s breach; and its claim against all the Defendants for civil conspiracy. The case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. The costs of this appeal shall be taxed to the Defendants, HD Supply Construction Supply, Ltd., d/b/a White Cap Construction Supply, Robert Maples, and Tim Pruitt, for which execution shall be issued if necessary.

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