CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County company has filed a suit against a former employee, claiming he violated West Virginia's Computer Crime and Abuse Act after he was fired for sexually harassing a co-worker.
Attorneys J. David Fenwick and Kristin A. Boggs of Goodwin & Goodwin, filed the suit Sept. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court on behalf of Prime Insulation Inc., which is located in South Charleston.
The suit is against Randall L. Barrett, a Putnam County resident.
According to the suit, Barrett worked at Prime from May 1, 2002 until April 9, 2006, when he was fired for sexually harassing a co-worker and insubordinate behavior toward his supervisor.
Part of his job duties involved preparing job design documents, job bid documents and other documents containing "proprietary and commercially sensitive information and trade secrets," the suit says.
The documents are stored on the "S" drive on a computer at Prime's worksite at Dow Chemical Company.
"Prime undertook measures to maintain the confidentiality of such information," the suit says.
According to the suit, the information in the documents is valuable to competitors because it reveals Prime's pricing and job design, as well as bidding information.
"That information could not easily be acquired or duplicated by others, but for misappropriation," the suit says. "Prime has expended considerable effort and money in developing its pricing, job designs and job bids."
The lawsuit claims that after Barrett was fired, he asked a third party to copy the records from the "S" drive where he worked. Prime claims his misappropriation of the proprietary information and trade secrets is likely to cause irreparable harm if disclosed to competitors.
Therefore, Prime claims Barrett violated the West Virginia Computer Crime and Abuse Act by possessing computer data belonging to Prime. Prime claims the value of the data is more than $5,000.
Prime also claims Barrett violated the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, because the records he copied contained formulas, patterns, methods, processes and other secrets of the company.
According to the suit, Barrett's actions were willful and malicious, and he obtained the information through theft and misrepresentation.
Prime seeks compensatory and punitive damages against Barrett.
The case has been assigned to Judge Irene Berger.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-2034