United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
Charles Eskridge, United States District Judge
the Court is Plaintiff Flotek Industries' ex parte motion
for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
consideration, the Court denies the request for temporary
restraining order. The Court reserves judgment on the request
for preliminary injunction until after service of process and
is in the oilfield chemical technologies business. Defendants
Cody Coomer, Cody Sutton, Hasnain Saboowala, and Justin
Vaughn are former employees of Flotek. Flotek alleges that
they misappropriated its confidential business information
and trade secrets. Flotek also alleges that they are at the
helm of a new competitor, Defendant Guide Energy Solutions,
LLC, in violation of their noncompete agreements.
resigned from Flotek in April 2019. Dkt 5 at 5. Flotek has
apparently been aware of the concerns at the heart of its
now-requested emergency relief for quite some time.
August 2019, four months after resignation and four months
prior to seeking relief, “Flotek learned of Guide
Energy Solutions via its profile on LinkedIn.”
Id. at 14. The LinkedIn profile page included a
picture of Coomer participating in Guide Energy safety
training. “It then became apparent that Coomer had
violated” his noncompete agreement, Flotek asserts.
Id. at 15. Certain Flotek employees connected to
individual defendants on LinkedIn were also able to see each
time they “liked” or “shared” a post
made by Guide Energy. Dkt 5-18 at 7-8. That activity would
show up on the Flotek employees' LinkedIn newsfeed
pages-meaning that Flotek was aware of LinkedIn posts about
Guide Energy without having to visit the Guide Energy page
motion indicates the extent and duration of its detailed
knowledge: “In August and September 2019, two invoices
from a third party data analytics provider, attentioned to
Saboowala on behalf of Guide Energy, were inadvertently sent
to his old Flotek email address (still maintained and
monitored by Flotek), making it clear that Saboowala was also
part of the secret scheme relating to Guide Energy.”
Dkt 5 at 17.
2019, Flotek had provided a price quote to one of its
customers. Later in September, that customer informed Flotek
that it would purchase products from Sutton and his company.
Dkt 5-18 at 12.
October 2019, Guide Energy had posted on its LinkedIn profile
page a photograph of Vaughn, Coomer, and Sutton. Dkt 5 at 16.
motion obscures the date, but also asserts that it conducted
an internal investigation of the individual defendants'
activities leading up to their resignations. Id. at
5. Through this investigation, Flotek allegedly discovered
that some of them had transmitted to and stored on their
personal Dropbox and email accounts highly confidential and
proprietary information of Flotek relating to customer lists,
contact information, financial projections, sales volume, and
pricing. Id. at 5-6. Investigation of Guide Energy
revealed that it was formed two days after Coomer and Sutton
resigned from Flotek, that it is a direct competitor of
Flotek, and that it was already offering competing products
and services three months after formation. Id. at
December 16, 2019, Flotek filed the instant action against
its former employees and Guide Energy. Flotek asserts
violations under the Trade Secrets Act, the Texas Uniform
Trade Secret Act, and various Texas common law causes of
action including breach of contract. Dkt 1 at 40-57. The same
day, Flotek filed this ex parte motion for a temporary
restraining order and preliminary injunction. Dkt 5. Broadly
speaking, Flotek requests that defendants refrain from
destroying, deleting, moving, or altering documents or
evidence relating to Flotek; return any and all confidential
Flotek information; and refrain from using any Flotek
requests both an ex parte temporary restraining order and a
preliminary injunction. To prevail on such a request, the