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Locke v. Tom James Co.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

March 25, 2013, Decided; March 25, 2013, Filed

11 Civ. 2961 (GBD)

Opinion

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

GEORGE B. DANIELS, United States District Judge:

Plaintiff David Locke brings this action against his former employers, Defendants Tom James Company ("Tom James") and Oxxford Clothes XX, Inc. ("Oxxford"), for breach of contract, violations of the New York State Labor Law ("NYS Labor Law"), and a violation of the Employer Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). Locke entered into an employment agreement  [*2] and various compensation plans with Defendants, under which Defendants agreed to award him stock options and shares, commission, and contributions to his 401(k) and profit sharing account. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants withheld such compensation when Plaintiff terminated his employment and started his own custom clothing company in direct competition with Defendants. Plaintiff seeks to recover the value of his earned stock options and shares, immediate disbursement of the employer contributions to his 401(k) and profit-sharing account, and the costs, disbursements, interest, and attorneys' fees arising out of this litigation. He also seeks declaratory relief to hold the parties' employment agreement unenforceable.

Defendants filed two counterclaims, alleging that Locke: (i) breached the restrictive covenants in his employment agreement; and (ii) misappropriated Defendants' trade secrets. They seek total damages in excess of $200,000, including interest and attorneys' fees, on both counterclaims. They also seek an injunction against Locke to enjoin him from breaching the covenants contained in the employment agreement and misappropriating their trade secrets.

Defendants now move for  [*3] summary judgment, pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, dismissing all of Locke's claims. Locke cross-moves for summary judgment declaring: (i) Defendants' breach of the employment agreement; (ii) violations of the NYS Labor Law; (iii) an ERISA violation; (iv) the unenforceability of his employment agreement with Oxxford; and (v) dismissing both of Defendants' counterclaims.

Defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissing Locke's claims is GRANTED. Locke's cross-motion for summary judgment dismissing Defendants' counterclaims is DENIED.

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2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48987 *; 2013 WL 1340841

DAVID LOCKE, Plaintiff, -against- TOM JAMES COMPANY and OXXFORD CLOTHES XX INC., f/k/a "OXXFORD INTERNATIONAL CLOTHES, INC." and d/b/a "OXXFORD DIRECT", Defendants.

Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied by, Motion denied by Locke v. Tom James Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19071 (S.D.N.Y., Feb. 10, 2014)

CORE TERMS

stock, customers, covenants, terminated, clothing, subscription, Cross-Mot, secrets, unenforceable, solicit, duress, subscriber, geographical, re-purchase, redeem, directory