A façade company was recently awarded by a federal jury $14.5 million in damages after its former president was accused of stealing trade secrets and interfering with business upon leaving the company.

A ten-day trial in late-November resulted in a verdict in favor of Tesla Wall Systems against its former president Michael Budd. Budd resigned as president of the company in 2014 after less than two years and was subject to certain contractual provisions, which Tesla claims he violated. Litigation took place in the United States District Court’s Southern District of New York.

In a 2014 complaint, Tesla alleged Budd, during and after his employment, “misappropriated confidential company information and trade secrets in order to create a separate company to compete against Tesla in the same line of business and for the same projects.” The complaint added Budd “left Tesla and absconded with Tesla’s confidential information, as well as other critical data, information and material necessary for the company’s continuing operation.”

According to court documents, Tesla manufactures its façade systems in Asia and has a branch in Las Vegas. The U.S. unit, which Budd was hired to lead in 2012, is organized under Delaware state laws.

According to the complaint, Tesla alleged Budd misappropriated and interfered with company business opportunities by the “planning, purchase, staffing and operation of a competing façade business” while president of Tesla. The company also claimed he intentionally withheld information and access to Crown Corr, the contract glazier Tesla was working with to install its façade systems.

The complaint alleged that when Budd left the company in May 2014, “he took with him confidential company information subject to the confidentiality provisions of his employment agreement, including but not limited to, technical data, research, engineering designs, customer lists, internal pricing information, bids/proposals and inquiries involving potential Tesla opportunities and sales and marketing materials, along with proprietary software and technology.”

The jury reached its verdict on November 29.

Budd’s attorney, Marc Kasowitz and the firm Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, hadn’t responded to request for comment as of press time.

4 Comments

    1. Look to his current employer Related.

  1. Ya but I think they make them at a place in PA. now…Linwood may the town?

  2. New Hudson facades

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