AllTech Communications, LLC v. Brothers
United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma
601 F. Supp. 2d 1255 (N.D. Okla. 2008)
AllTech Communications, LLC (AllTech) (plaintiff) produces portable cellular towers. Robert Brothers (defendant) was an owner and chief operations officer (COO) of AllTech. Brothers left AllTech to work for a competitor, TowerWorx (defendant). AllTech sued the defendants for damages related to the misappropriation of confidential business information Brothers gained while COO. Within 10 days of filing an answer, Brothers filed a third-party complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 14 against Kris Langholz, Robert Langholz, and Laurence Langholz, all officers of AllTech. Brothers said that before his resignation, the Langholzes had breached fiduciary duties, breached a contract, and unjustly enriched themselves, which caused him to leave the company. The Langholzes moved to dismiss the third-party complaint on the grounds that Rule 14 only allowed a defendant to implead a third party if that party might be liable for all or part of the claim against the defendant. The Langholzes argued the claims asserted against them were not derivative or dependent on Brothers’s liability. Alternately, the defendants requested leave to file an amended counterclaim under FRCP 13(h) and add the claims against the Langholzes.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kern, J.)
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