United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND (DOC.
Timothy S. Black United States District Judge
civil case is before the Court on the motion of Plaintiff
Total Quality Logistics, LLC (“TQL”) to remand
this case to the Clermont County Court of Common Pleas
(“State Court”) (Doc. 10) as well as the
parties' responsive memoranda (Docs. 18, 19).
an Ohio limited liability company with its principal place of
business in Clermont County, Ohio. (Doc. 9 at ¶ 2). TQL
provides freight brokerage and third-party logistics services
to customers across the continental United States.
Navajo Express, Inc., d/b/a DSCO Logistics
(“Navajo”), is a Colorado corporation. (Doc. 9 at
¶ 6). Defendants Justin Whitaker, Logan Camin, and
Joseph Kerr (collectively, the “Individual
Defendants”) are Colorado residents. (Id. at
¶¶ 3-5). Each of the Individual Defendants is a
former employee of TQL and a current employee of Navajo.
March 23, 2018, TQL commenced this action by filing a
complaint (“Complaint”) in State Court. (Doc. 2).
The Complaint alleges that, before commencing employment with
TQL, each of the Individual Defendants executed an Employee
Non-Compete, Confidentiality, and Non-Solicitation Agreement
(“Agreement”). (Doc. 2 at ¶ 14, 20, 26; Ex.
A). The Complaint alleges that, by signing the Agreement, the
Individual Defendants agreed, for a period of one year after
their employment ended, to not work for or associate with any
TQL competitor, solicit any TQL customer or carrier with
which TQL had a relationship, solicit or recruit other TQL
employees, and to not disclose or use TQL's confidential
or proprietary information. (Id.)
Complaint alleges that the Individual Defendants are
violating the Agreements by working for Navajo in positions
similar to the positions they held at TQL, using or
disclosing TQL's confidential information, soliciting TQL
customers, and competing with TQL. (Doc. 2 at ¶¶
18, 24, 30). The Complaint alleges that Navajo continues to
employ the Individual Defendants despite its knowledge of the
restrictive covenants in the Agreement. (Id. at
¶¶ 31-33). The Complaint asserts claims for breach
of contract against the Individual Defendants, tortious
interference with contract against Navajo, and claims of
tortious interference with business relations, violation of
the Ohio Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Violation of Defend Trade
Secrets Act, and civil conspiracy against all Defendants.
Complaint demands preliminary and permanent injunctive
relief, punitive damages, fees, costs, and
“compensatory damages in favor of TQL in an amount to
be determined at trail in excess of $25, 000.” (Doc. 2
with the Complaint, on March 23, 2018, TQL filed a motion for
a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction
requesting that the Individual Defendants be prohibited from
further violating the provisions of the Agreement in their
employment with Navajo. (Doc. 3).
April 3, 2018, Defendants removed the case to this Court.
(Doc. 1). The notice of removal argues that this Court has
original jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332,
“in that diversity of citizenship exists between
plaintiff and all defendants, and based upon information and
belief, the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of
Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75, 000.00).” (Doc. 1
April 6, 2018, TQL filed an Amended Complaint. (Doc. 9). The
Amended Complaint is substantially similar to the Complaint,
with the exception that it clarified TQL is not seeking more
than $75, 000 in this case. Specifically, the Amended
Complaint demands that the Court, inter alia:
b) Award compensatory damages in favor of TQL in an amount to
be determined at trial in excess of $25, 000.00, but not more
than $75, 000.00, inclusive of any award of punitive damages,
attorney's fees, and injunctive relief;
c) Award punitive damages in favor of TQL in an amount of not
more than $75, 000.00, inclusive of any award of compensatory