Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Clean tech business alleges workers started competing business, stole clients


By Charmaine Little | Jun 24, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- AES Clean Technology Inc. is suing a handful of individuals, alleging they launched a direct competitor while still employed with the plaintiff.  

AES sued Glenn Vandergrift, its former field project manager, Emily Rogers, who worked as a project coordinator for AES, Richard Schoenberg, the plaintiff's former director of business development, George Wiker, former executive director, as well as and Isoclean Inc., and Allied Construction Management Services LLC on June 11 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Ultimately, AES said it sued because the employees used its secrets to start a competing company, while still fulfilling major roles at AES.

AES said in its lawsuit, “defendants VanderGrift, Wiker and Schoenberg are in clear violation of their agreements with AES not to compete with the company or solicit AES’ customers and employees, and all individual defendants have brazenly violated their duties of loyalty to AES by clandestinely launching new companies, defendants Allied and isoClean, which are directly competing with AES, while the individual defendants were employed by AES.”

The plaintiff alleges the defendants executed a long thought-out scheme to use AES’s trade secret details to steal AES’s clients and business. It reiterated that the alleged plan was created while the individuals still worked at AES. 

AES added, “Despite the defendants’ efforts to conceal their conduct and continue to compete against AES, the proof of their scheme is well documented …”

AES sued VandeGrift, Wiker and Schoenberg for breach of contract, the individual defendants for breach of duty of loyalty, Allied and isoClean for tortious interference with AES’ employment agreements, and all defendants for misappropriation of trade secrets via the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, violation of the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act, 12 P.S. Section 5301 unjust enrichment, unfair competition and civil conspiracy.

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