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Black & Decker (US), Inc. v. Smith

United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Eastern Division

July 11, 2008, Decided; July 11, 2008, Filed

No. 07-1201



On November 15, 2007, the Plaintiff, Black & Decker, Inc., ("B&D") filed the instant action against the Defendant, Timothy Smith, alleging that Smith shared certain confidential data with one of the Plaintiff's competitors in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030 et seq., the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-25-1701, and the Tennessee Personal and Commercial Computer Act of 2003, Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-14-602. B&D also includes claims of breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty and/or fiduciary  [**2] duty, misappropriation of confidential and proprietary information, and unfair competition and unfair trade practices against Smith. Before the Court is the Defendant's motion to dismiss two of these claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Plaintiff has responded and this motion is now ripe for disposition.


The Complaint alleges that the Defendant was hired by B&D in June 2004. (Docket Entry ("D.E.") No. 1, Compl. P 6.) He began working for Michael Wilson, the Director of Engineering for the Pressure Washer Design Group at B&D, as a project engineer in June 2006. (Id.) In July or August of 2007, B&D was informed by one of its customers that its contract to supply pressure washers would not be renewed for the year 2008. (Id. P 7.) Instead, the contract was awarded to a competitor of B&D's, Techtronic Industries Co. ("TTI"). (Id.) According to the Plaintiff, TTI had not previously been engaged in large scale manufacturing of pressure washers in the United States. (Id.)

Shortly after B&D lost the contract, a recruiter began calling Wilson and many of the engineers who worked for him to ask them to interview at TTI. (Id. P 8.) The Defendant  [**3] was one of those contacted by the recruiter. (Id.) On October 8, 2007, Smith took a day off from work and interviewed with TTI in South Carolina. (Id.) He accepted a position with that company approximately four days later. (Id.) Wilson confronted the Defendant on October 15, 2007, about whether he intended to go work for TTI and Smith admitted that he  [*931]  had accepted a position there, to begin on October 22. (Id. P 9.) Although the Defendant intended to leave on October 17, Wilson asked for his immediate resignation. (Id.)

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568 F. Supp. 2d 929 *; 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53021 **

BLACK & DECKER (US), INC., Plaintiff, v. TIMOTHY C. SMITH, Defendant.

Subsequent History: Motion granted by Black & Decker (US), Inc. v. Smith, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63054 (W.D. Tenn., Aug. 15, 2008)


authorization, accessed, confidential, intentionally, allegations, documents, Storage, copied, cases, confidential information, impairment, exceeds, email, proprietary information, network, washers, fraudulent pretenses, computer system, computer fraud, unauthorized, feloniously, termination, permission, prohibits, trespass, insider, causes, confidentiality agreement, legislative history, motion to dismiss

Civil Procedure, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Computer & Internet Law, Criminal Offenses, Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, General Overview, Criminal Law & Procedure, Fraud, False Pretenses