PCI Obtains Injunction Against Innovative Nitrogen Systems, Bill Brigham and Michael Schroeder

Feb 20, 2007, 00:00 ET from Pacific Consolidated Industries LLC

    RIVERSIDE, Calif., Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Consolidated Industries LLC ("PCI") is pleased to announce that it has obtained an injunction against Innovative Nitrogen Systems, LLC ("INS") of Santa Ana, California, its president, Bill Brigham ("Brigham") and one of its employees, Michael Schroeder ("Schroeder"). INS, Brigham and Schroeder are each defendants in litigation with PCI.     PCI develops portable air separation equipment, including a Nitrogen Generation Unit ("NGU"), for use in the oil and gas, defense and medical industries. A federal court has found that Brigham and Schroeder, former PCI employees, left and went to work for INS and thereafter developed a competing NGU by, among other things, misappropriating PCI's trade secrets.     The United States District Court, Central District of California, Southern Division (in Orange County), Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler, presiding, in an order dated February 7, 2007, has preliminarily enjoined for an indefinite period INS, Brigham and Schroeder from "approaching, for the purpose of marketing, selling or providing any type of services, including consultant, subcontractor or advisory services, to any customers or potential customers with whom Brigham or Schroeder communicated while they were at PCI ...." This prohibition extends to at least 77 companies specifically named in the attachment to the injunction.     PCI brought suit on October 18, 2006 alleging that the defendants variously schemed to steal PCI's trade secrets, engage in unfair competition, commit fraud, conversion and breach of contract, violate copyrights and the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, and intentionally interfere with PCI's contractual relationships and its prospective economic advantage.     In its ruling granting the injunction, the Court also prohibited the defendants from "retaining any of PCI's trade secrets or other confidential or proprietary information in their possession, custody, or control; [or] using or disclosing, directly or indirectly, any of PCI's trade secrets or other confidential or proprietary information."     In support of its decision, the court found specifically that the defendants "made use of PCI's trade secrets and other confidential information in the course of their design, manufacture and sale of portable NGUs", that Schroeder did work for INS while still employed at PCI, that Schroeder "transferred data from his PCI computer to media for eventual storage on his INS computer, including all of the files related to work he did for INS while still employed at PCI", and that Brigham deleted relevant files from his computer in the middle of the litigation, which the Court held "constituted blatant discovery abuse and violation of his legal obligation to preserve evidence ... as well as a violation of" a prior order of the Court.     For more information, please contact PCI's General Counsel, Jay McFadyen at (951) 479-0860.     Pacific Consolidated Industries is based in Riverside, California and is the leading provider of portable air separation equipment for the defense, petroleum, and medical markets. Further information is available at http://www.pci-intl.com.  

SOURCE Pacific Consolidated Industries LLC