EAST ST. LOUIS — A lumber distributor is suing several former employees for allegedly raiding the office to loot and destroy trade secrets.

Cedar Creek LLC filed a complaint on Aug. 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Michael Montgomery, Michael Jennings, Michael Wesley and Matthew Carney, alleging they violated the Illinois Trade Secrets Act and the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants are former employees and conspired with one another to collectively resign without notice after a premeditated weekend raid of the plaintiff's East St. Louis office to loot and destroy its trade secret and confidential records related to its customer accounts and other employee files. 

As a result, Cedar Creek suffered damages and irreparable harm, including loss of customers and employees. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to maintain trade secrets after acknowledging the secrecy under the Employee Handbook, denied taking trade secrets and attempted to cover up their traces. 

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment for exemplary damages, award of attorneys' fees, expenses, litigation incurred, and for such other and further relief as the court deems just, proper and equitable. 

It is represented by Michael R. Dauphin of Foley & Mansfield, PLLP in St. Louis.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:17-cv-00879

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