United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Z. Lee United States District Judge
Wells Lamont Industry Group LLC (“Wells Lamont”)
has sued Defendants Richard Mendoza (“Mendoza”)
and Radians, Inc. (“Radians”). Against Mendoza,
Wells Lamont alleges violation of the federal Defend Trade
Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), 18 U.S.C. § 1836 et
seq. (Count I), violation of the Illinois Trade Secrets
Act (ITSA), 765 Ill. Comp. Stat. 1065/1 et seq.
(Count II), breach of contract with regard to a
confidentiality agreement (Count III), and breach of contract
with regard to an information technology agreement (Count
IV). Against Radians, Wells Lamont alleges tortious
interference with contract with regard to both of its
agreements with Mendoza (Count V). Mendoza has moved to
dismiss Count I, and Radians has moved to dismiss Count V.
For the reasons stated herein, Defendants' motions to
dismiss   are denied.
Lamont is a company that designs, manufactures, and sells
industrial gloves, and its principal place of business is in
Illinois. 1st Am. Compl. (“FAC”) ¶ 1, ECF
No. 7. Mendoza is an Illinois citizen who was a sales
representative for Wells Lamont from February 2011 until
August 12, 2016, when he voluntarily resigned to take a
similar position with Radians. Id. ¶¶ 2,
26. Radians, which is also in the business of selling
industrial gloves, is in direct competition with Wells
Lamont, and its principal place of business is in Tennessee.
Id. ¶ 3.
was “Director of Sales - Primary Materials” for
Wells Lamont from February 1, 2013, until his resignation.
Id. ¶ 10. In this position, some of his
responsibilities included establishing sales goals,
developing and executing sales plans, and performing priority
management for sales. Id. ¶ 11. In addition, he
was exposed to confidential information in the course of his
employment, such as product designs and prototypes.
Id. ¶ 25.
the course of his employment, Mendoza signed a
confidentiality agreement that defined “confidential
information and trade secrets” as including
“business information such as product costs, vendor and
customer lists, . . . unpublished price lists, . . . and
other financial information not yet announced or publicly
disclosed.” Id. ¶¶ 12, 13. The
agreement forbade him from “communicat[ing] such
confidential information or trade secrets to any other person
[or] firm” or “us[ing] such confidential
information or trade secrets . . . for the benefit of any
other person [or] firm.” Id. ¶ 13.
Mendoza signed this agreement most recently on February 18,
2016. Id. ¶ 12. During the course of his
employment, Mendoza also signed an information technology
agreement that included a confidentiality provision
forbidding him from disclosing trade secrets for any purpose
other than his official duties. Id. ¶ 16. This
agreement was most recently signed on February 22, 2016.
Id. ¶ 15.
August 2016, Mendoza resigned from Wells Lamont and began
working for Radians. Id. ¶ 26. Both before and
after his resignation, he forwarded to his personal e-mail
address confidential information such as customer data,
pricing sheets, and sales reports. Id. ¶ 27. In
September 2016, Wells Lamont learned that Mendoza had reached
out to some of his former customers to attempt to convince
them to do business with Radians, so Wells Lamont's
counsel wrote Mendoza a letter demanding the documents be
returned. Id. ¶¶ 29, 30. The letter was
also sent to Radians and informed it of Mendoza's
continuing duties to not disclose or use any confidential
information. Id. ¶ 30; id., Ex. C, at
On October 6, 2016, Wells Lamont received an e-mail from an
attorney representing both Mendoza and Radians, admitting
that Mendoza had some of Wells Lamont's confidential
information in his possession. Id. ¶ 31. The
next day, Mendoza returned a signed affidavit in which he
recounted all the information he had forwarded to his
personal e-mail address, and he also admitted that he had
delivered a hard copy of one of Wells Lamont's
confidential pricing lists to a Radians employee.
Id. ¶ 32; id., Ex. F ¶ 4.
Mendoza worked for Wells Lamont, he maintained a relationship
with Turner Industries (“Turner”) for about three
years. Id. ¶ 37. In October 2016, after he
began working for Radians, Mendoza contacted Turner to
attempt to divert its business away from Wells Lamont.
Id. In January 2017, Mendoza traveled to
Turner's office in Texas and “presented replicas of
several Wells Lamont Industry products.” Id.
¶ 38. After Mendoza's presentation, Turner canceled
a meeting it had previously set with a Wells Lamont salesman.
Id. Wells Lamont alleges that Mendoza has continued
to use its confidential information to try to siphon away its
customers. Id. ¶ 41.
survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure (“Rule”) 12(b)(6),  a complaint must
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The complaint “need
only provide a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief, sufficient to provide
the defendant with fair notice of the claim and its
basis.” Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074,
1081 (7th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). When
considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the
Court must “accept[ ] as true all well-pleaded facts
alleged, and draw[ ] all possible inferences in [the
plaintiff's] favor.” Tamayo, 526 F.3d at
has moved to dismiss Count I of Wells Lamont's complaint,
arguing that Wells Lamont has not sufficiently alleged that
its information constitutes a trade secret under the DTSA.
Mendoza also argues that Wells Lamont's complaint fails
to sufficiently plead a violation of the DTSA because it
fails to allege that Wells Lamont's goods were used in or
intended for use in interstate commerce, and Radians repeats
this argument in its own motion. Radians has also moved to
dismiss Count V, arguing that Wells Lamont fails to
sufficiently allege that Radians tortiously interfered with
Mendoza's confidentiality agreements. The Court will
address each of these arguments below.
Count I: Defend Trade Secrets Act