Hecny Transportation, Inc. v. Chu

430 F.3d 402 (2005)

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Hecny Transportation, Inc. v. Chu

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
430 F.3d 402 (2005)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD

Facts

Hecny Transportation, Inc. (Hecny) (plaintiff) was a multinational shipping corporation. George Chu (defendant) was employed by Hecny to manage its Chicago-based shipping operations. After Chu left his employment with Hecny, Hecny conducted an audit on the Chicago facility and found that Chu had used Hecny facilities, employees, information, and equipment to run his own business operations. Hecny sued Chu for theft, breach of fiduciary duty, diversion of corporate assets and opportunities, and misappropriation of Hecny’s customer list, which Hecny alleged was a trade secret. Chu denied Hecny’s allegations and moved for summary judgment. The district court granted Chu summary judgment, holding that (1) the Illinois Trade Secrets Act barred Hecny from suing Chu for anything unrelated to the misappropriation of trade secrets; and (2) Hecny’s customer list was not a trade secret. Hecny appealed. On appeal, Hecny conceded that the identity of its customers was widely known in the shipping industry.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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