*So, it appears that it's ok for Allstate to cheat their own employees but let’s not have the employees steal from them.
Let’s not forget that Allstate originally fired the sales agents. But, if the agents wanted to return to work for this disgraceful company, they were required to sign away their ’rights to sue’ the company they worked for. As part of the agreement for coming back to work, the company took away the employees retirement and benefits as well as paid them less money. The agents also claim that Allstate warned them that they could never-ever solicit their old customers. It was later learned that Allstate Lied (SURPRISE!!!)-they actually could solicit their former customers. But let a couple of ambitious employees strike out on their own because they are sick and tired of being slave labor for this deceitful company, Allsnake turns around and sues them for allegedly stealing customers and trade secrets. How absurd.
http://www.law360.com/articles/534300/a ... ts-clients
Allstate Claims Ex-Employees Stole Trade Secrets, Clients
By Allissa Wickham
Law360, New York (May 05, 2014, 4:20 PM ET) -- Allstate Insurance Co. has accused two ex-employees and their rival insurance company of stealing its customers and trade secrets, according to a suit filed in Utah federal court on Friday.
The insurance giant claims that former Allstate assistants Deborah Lamoreaux and Staci Jeffries used the company’s confidential business and customer information to launch their own Utah-based insurance agency, D&S Insurance Services LLC.
“D&S is harming Allstate’s legitimate business interests by using Allstate confidential information to solicit Allstate customers,” the complaint states. “Accordingly, Allstate is suffering irreparable harm as a result of defendants’ actions.”
Before opening their own insurance provider, both Lamoreaux and Jefferies worked for an independent Allstate agency called the Meidell-Gardner Agency, according to the complaint.
Although Lamoreaux had worked as the agency's office manager for more than 15 years, Jefferies was only hired as an assistant after the affiliate was purchased by Allstate agent Steve Gardner in March 2012, the suit states. Both Lamoreaux and Jefferies were required to sign noncompete and confidentiality agreements after Gardner's purchase, Allstate claims.
However, just two months after she was hired, Jefferies secretly began working with an Allstate competitor called Pacific Crest Services Inc., selling competing insurance products and diverting Allstate’s business to its rival, the suit claims.
“Jeffries did not notify Allstate or ask for Allstate’s consent to sell non-Allstate insurance products or services,” the complaint states. “Even more disturbing, Jeffries, with Lamoreaux’s assistance, began rewriting and diverting Allstate customers to other insurance carriers before her appointment with Pacific Crest on September 17, 2012.”
Shortly after Jeffries began working with Pacific Crest, both she and Lamoreaux quit their jobs at the Meidell-Gardner Agency in December 2012 and formed D&S Insurance Services, the suit claims. In order to drum up business for their new company, Jeffries and Lamoreaux allegedly solicited Allstate customers, despite having signed contracts forbidding such conduct until one year after leaving Allstate.
Further, the agreements barred the ex-employees from using the insurer’s confidential information, which Allstate alleges they still possess and used to steal its customers. The allegedly stolen information may include Allstate’s business plans, customer names and policy expiration dates, since both Lamoreaux and Jeffries had access to this data while working for Allstate, the suit states.
The insurer estimates that the ex-employees had access to confidential information worth over $1 million, and is suing for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and tortious interference. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as a prohibition on Jeffries, Lamoreaux and D&S’s continued use of Allstate’s secret information.
Representatives and attorneys for Allstate did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. D&S Insurance also did not respond to a request for comment.
Allstate is represented by George W. Burbidge II of Christensen & Jensen P.C, as well as J. Scott Humphrey and Ashley K. Laken of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
Attorney information for the defendants was not immediately available.
The suit is Allstate Insurance v. Lamoreaux et al., case number 2:14-cv-00335, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.
--Editing by Mark Lebetkin.
Allstate Insurance v. Lamoreaux et al
Nature of Suit
Brooke C. Wells
May 2, 2014