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TechINT Solutions Group, LLC v. Sasnett

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Harrisonburg Division

June 26, 2019

TECHINT SOLUTIONS GROUP, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
BRANDON SASNETT, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Elizabeth K. Dillon United States District Judge

         Pending before the court is defendant Scott Crino's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 131.)[1] In it, he seeks dismissal of all four counts against him: Count II-a claim for tortious interference; Count IV-a conspiracy claim; Count V-aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty; and Count VI-a separate count of injunctive relief. For the reasons discussed herein, the court will deny the motion to dismiss.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The court will dispense with a detailed description of the facts alleged in the amended complaint. Instead, important relevant facts will be discussed in context below. In broad terms, though, the amended complaint asserts claims by TechINT Solutions Group, LLC against its former employee and previous part owner, Brandon Sasnett, and against the CEO of Red Six, Crino, who was allegedly involved in hiring Sasnett to work for Red Six. Red Six, a former customer and allegedly now a competitor of TechINT's, was initially named as a defendant, but was dismissed by prior order of the court in order to preserve the court's subject-matter jurisdiction, which is premised on diversity.

         Shortly after Sasnett's hiring by Red Six, TechINT advised Crino that Sasnett had a Services Agreement that barred him, for a term of two years after his employment with TechINT ended, from providing the same services TechINT provided to its actual clients and certain prospective clients and also barred him from soliciting TechINT employees. Even after Crino learned of that agreement and received a copy of it, Red Six continued to employ Sasnett. According to the amended complaint, Sasnett, while employed with Red Six, is performing the same services he performed for TechINT, in violation of the restrictive covenants in his Services Agreement. This includes performing services for a number of TechINT clients or former clients. Lastly, TechINT alleges that Sasnett, on behalf of Red Six and again in violation of his Services Agreement, solicited another TechINT employee, Archie Stafford, who abruptly left TechINT and began working for Red Six.[2]

         The claims in the amended complaint are:

Count I: a breach of contract claim for breach of the Services Agreement (against Sasnett only);
Count II: tortious interference with contract and business expectancies (against Sasnett and Crino);
Count III: conversion (against Sasnett only);
Count IV: conspiracy (against Sasnett and Crino);
Count V: breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty (against Sasnett and Crino); and
Count VI: injunctive relief enforcing the terms of Sasnett's Services Agreement and ordering all defendants to “cease any further unlawful activity.”

(Am. Compl., Dkt. No. 120.) Additional relevant facts will be ...


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