Batesville Casket Co. files suit against former employee

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Batesville Casket Co. LLC has filed a lawsuit accusing a former employee of stealing trade secrets and confidential company information.

The suit, filed this week in Marion Superior Court, alleges Ryan Ackerman misappropriated the information a few months before joining a competitor.

Batesville accuses Ackerman of stealing “numerous files with confidential customer, pricing, discount, territory, business strategy and goals, and other proprietary information, including pricing tools and formulas and what a forensic investigation strong[ly] suggests is an entire folder of 177 files.”

Ackerman, who lives in Pennsylvania, allegedly saved the files from his work computer to a USB drive, which he then refused to return for inspection. He’s also accused of moving files via email and texting.

Batesville said the information that Ackerman allegedly stole is “confidential and would be valuable to a competitor such as Victoriaville & Co. USA, Inc., Ackerman’s new employer. Many constitute or contain trade secrets.”

The company said Ackerman signed a certificate saying he did not have any Batesville files, property or confidential information in his possession. However, he later admitted that he took Batesville files but provided “unwarranted excuses,” according to the complaint.

Batesville is seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

“As a direct and proximate result of the Ackerman’s actions, Batesville has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm, including but not limited to loss of competitive Confidential Information and trade secrets, unfair competition, loss of customers, and other monetary and non-monetary losses,” the company said in its complaint. “Such irreparable harm is a basis for Batesville to obtain preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against Defendants.”

Additionally, Batesville is asking the court to prevent Ackerman from working in a similar capacity for a competitor to Batesville and engaging in the sale or distribution of any competitive products for a period of 24 months.

The company is also seeking monetary damages, including lost profits, compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs and attorney fees.

Ackerman has not yet responded to the suit, according to online records.

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