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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Court dismisses 4 counts against former Nephron Pharmaceuticals employee in trade secrets case

Lawsuits

By Marian Johns | Jun 28, 2019

Courthouse

ORLANDO — A federal court granted a former Nephron Pharmaceuticals employee who is being sued for allegedly giving trade secrets her motion to dismiss four counts relating to the Florida Uniform Secrets Act (FUTSA).

According to the June 10 U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division filing, defendants Jennifer Shelly Hulsey, U.S. Compounding Inc. and Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corporation asked the court to dismiss four counts in the complaint filed by plaintiffs Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Nephron S.C. Inc. and Nephron Sterile Compounding Center LLC. 

The defendants allege Hulsey, a former employee who signed an employee confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement, "misappropriated" the company's trade secrets when she went to work for Nephron's competitor U.S. Compounding. Among the plaintiffs' allegations are breach of loyalty, aiding and abetting breach of the duty of loyalty, tortious interference with contractual relationship and civil conspiracy, according to the court filing. 

In reviewing the breach of the duty of loyalty count, the court found the plaintiffs "failed to state a claim" because they did not show sufficient evidence "as to how they suffered damages" as a result of the alleged action by Hulsey and U.S. Compounding. The court also found failure to state a claim in the plaintiffs' tortious interference with contractual relationships claim. 

Regarding the plaintiffs' aiding and abetting breach of the duty of loyalty arguement in which they allege U.S. Compounding "directed" Hulsey to "store and transmit" Nephron's trade secrets, the court found the plaintiffs "incorrectly limited" misappropriation in relating to  the alleged FUTSA.  The court also found that the plaintiffs' civil conspiracy claims were "unpersuasive" and only give reference to the same alleged FUTSA violations. 

U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell granted the defendants' motions to dismiss the four counts in the plaintiffs' complaint.

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U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division