Cause No. 2013-60075; Forum US, Inc. v. Jeffrey Musselwhite, Audie Romero, Michael Karbowski, Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co., LLC, Intervale Capital, LLC, HKM Consulting, LLC and Wearsox, LP; In the District Court of Harris County, Texas, 295th Judicial District
Forum brought suit alleging breach of a non-compete agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of confidentiality agreements and various aiding and abetting such actions against Jeff Musselwhite, Audie Romero and their current employer, Antelope Oil Tool and Manufacturing. We represented Antelope and Wearsox, LP (an alleged co-conspirator). Antelope was alleged to have hired Musselwhite and Romero, encouraged them to breach their agreements with Forum and misappropriate Forum’s trade secrets. Forum sought up to $25,000,000 in damages from Antelope during the trial but asked the jury for $9,000,000 in actual and punitive damages during trial. Prior to trial, the Court invalidated as a matter of law the non-compete agreement. After a nearly six week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants finding that there were no breach of confidentiality, no breach of fiduciary duty and that Forum’s alleged trade secrets were not trade secrets. The jury also determined that Forum knew or should have known that the non-compete agreement was overly broad at the time it was entered, which allowed for the recovery of attorneys’ fees.