An Edwardsville company claims one of its former employees stole more than $50,000 worth of company material.

C.K.S. Metal Corp. claims its former employee, defendant John Bates, took more than $50,000 from it. C.K.S. only discovered the theft after it had fired Bates for violent behavior on Aug. 23, 2007, according to the complaint filed July 26 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Bates has refused to return the material to C.K.S., the suit states.

"Defendant's actions directly and proximately caused plaintiff financial harm because the materials taken from plaintiff were used for defendant's gain, thereby diminishing plaintiff's value," the complaint says.

In its complaint, C.K.S. is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus interest at 9 percent, punitive damages of at least $2 million, compensatory damages of more than $50,000, costs and other relief the court deems just. It is also seeking all the materials that it says Bates took and an order that all proceeds Bates earned from the stolen material be placed into a trust that benefits C.K.S.

C.K.S. will be represented by Todd W. Sivia of Sivia Business and Legal Services.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1138.

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