By Carolina Bolado
April 6, 2015
Royal Marine Insurance Group, which offers a unique insurance program to third-party cruise excursion operators, won a temporary injunction Thursday against three former employees accused of taking proprietary information and starting up a similar program at competitor THB International Inc.
Florida Circuit Judge John Thornton granted Royal Marine an emergency temporary injunction barring former employees Charlene Bobb, Uton H. Bright and Noreen Salas from using Royal Marine’s trade secrets in their new positions at THB, according to Royal Marine’s counsel Meland Russin &Budwick PA.
In the suit, filed Feb. 27 in Miami, Royal Marine claims that the three workers violated their non compete employment agreements by taking trade secrets with them to THB, which shortly thereafter began a program similar to the excursion operator program at Royal Marine.
Under this program, which until recently was offered only by Royal Marine and Aon PLC, third-party cruise excursion operators could get insurance as required by the cruise lines, according to Royal Marine.
The workers are prohibited by their employment agreements from disclosing Royal Marine’s confidential information and from soliciting its customers for two years after their departure from the company, according to the injunction motion.
Salas resigned from Royal Marine in late October, just a few days before Bobb did as well, according to the motion. Royal Marine says they told the company they were leaving to pursue other unrelated opportunities. Bright allegedly left in December to operate a cruise excursion business in Jamaica, according to the motion.
But over the next few months, Royal Marine noticed that a number of clients were unexpectedly terminating policies and learned that THB had hired these three former employees and was now offering a program to insure third-party cruise excursion operators, according to the motion.
Royal Marine says it would be impossible for THB to offer this insurance program without using the trade secrets.
“The defendants’ actions have caused Royal Marine irreparable damage,including loss of customer goodwill and loss of business opportunities,” Royal Marine said in the motion. “They have created a competitor out of whole cloth, which could not have been accomplished without misappropriating the trade secrets.”
Royal Marine is represented by Eric Ostroff of Meland Russin & Budwick PA and Jonathan W. Segal PA.
The defendants are represented by Jason M. Chodos of Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass.
The case is Nenezian & Seikaly LLC v. Bobb et al., case number 2015-004677-CA, in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.