For more than 30 years, RELCO, LLC, a Willmar, Minn.-based designer and manufacturer of systems and equipment for the dairy industry, has led its industry with integrity and excellence in engineering. Yet when RELCO suspected two former employees of misappropriating confidential technical information on behalf of a competing firm, it knew its ability to innovate and fairly compete was threatened. The case posed a serious challenge—not only because of the complexity of the technology in question, but also due to the potential for disruption among both RELCO’s customers and competitors. RELCO needed to take serious and immediate action to secure its proprietary business data, and to preserve its status as a significant player in the marketplace.
Lawyers at Gray Plant Mooty, led by Dean LeDoux, sorted through the unique demands of the case, and their diligence and efficiency—in and out of court—ultimately proved decisive. After a nine-day jury trial, the jury determined that RELCO’s competitor had knowingly and unlawfully taken and used RELCO’s confidential business information and trade secrets.
The result: a $22.7 million jury verdict in RELCO’s favor, which the National Law Journal listed as one of its Top 100 Verdicts in 2013. RELCO ultimately obtained from the court an injunction permanently prohibiting the competitor from engaging in business in the areas for which confidential information and trade secrets had been misappropriated.