Waste Connections files suit against Rubicon and former employee

Waste Connections files suit against Rubicon and former employee

Lawsuit filed in Georgia alleges misappropriation of trade secrets.

June 19, 2017

Waste Connections, The Woodlands, Texas, and its subsidiary Progressive Waste Solutions of LA (PWS) have submitted an Original Complaint, Emergency Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Interlocutory Injunction against Atlanta-based Rubicon Global LLC and Jonathan Dewitt, a former PWS district sales manager.

According to the complaint, Dewitt downloaded onto two USB devices at least 1,160 confidential documents amounting to about 4,800 pages, which included pricing information, bid proformas, customer lists and information on Waste Connections cultural training and development programs.

The complaint alleges Dewitt “abruptly resigned from PWS (March 24, 2017) to accept the position of national sales manager for Rubicon. The complaint claims Rubicon is “interfering with Waste Connections’ contracts and customer relationships and seeks to convert Waste Connections’ customers to Rubicon Services through unlawful means.”

The complaint continues, “Unless defendants are immediately restrained and enjoined from using and/or disclosing plaintiffs’ trade secrets, plaintiffs will be imminently and irreparably harmed.”

Dewitt, was also allegedly provided a letter the day of his resignation from PWS reminding him of his ongoing contractual obligations including prohibition against use of the plaintiffs’ confidential information and trade secrets and demanding he return any and all data of the plantiffs' in his possession.

A letter also was allegedly provided to Rubicon advising the firm of Dewitt’s ongoing contractual and legal obligations.

Four counts are indicated in the complaint:

  • breach of contract (Dewitt)
  • violation of the Georgia Trade Secrets Act (Dewitt and Rubicon)
  • tortious interference with an existing contract (Rubicon); and
  • request for a temporary restraining order and interlocutory injunction (Dewitt and Rubicon).

Rubicon Global issued the following statement to Waste Today: "While we do not comment on pending litigation, we will continue to vigorously defend the allegations in court. Like so many of our team members, Jonathan wants to be a part of the evolution of our industry—a process built on a combination of industry expertise, new technology and data analytics. It's unfortunate, but not surprising, to see Waste Connections trying to stand in the way of this progress. We are in a battle for the future of the industry and this is likely just another part of its response."

A link to the full complaint filed in Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, can be found here.