Verdict Upheld Against Former Executive Jan Murley

Aug 08, 2011, 15:00 ET from Hallmark Cards, Inc.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri has upheld a federal jury's verdict against a former Hallmark executive for violating continuing confidentiality obligations after leaving the company.

On April 6, a jury ruled in Hallmark's favor in a case against Janet L. (Jan) Murley, a former group vice president – marketing.  The jury found that Ms. Murley violated the terms of her confidentiality agreement by retaining and disclosing confidential information to Hallmark competitors and others after she left the company.  Hallmark was awarded $860,000.  In response, Ms. Murley filed a motion arguing, among other things, that the award was excessive.  U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner disagreed.

"We are pleased the court upheld the jury's verdict," said Brian Gardner, executive vice president – general counsel.  "Proprietary business information and intellectual property are important corporate assets and employees at all levels are expected to keep confidential information confidential.  That expectation is a part of our standard employment agreement and does not expire when an employee leaves the company."

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SOURCE Hallmark Cards, Inc.