GREENVILLE, S.C., Sept. 3, 2020 — Michelin North America, Inc., has agreed to settle lawsuits against Carlstar Group, LLC and former Michelin employee Michael Dotson. The Federal Court in Greenville has permanently enjoined Dotson from using or revealing any Michelin trade secret or confidential information and ordered him to return to the company any Michelin information in his possession. Dotson also agreed to pay financial damages to Michelin that were sought in the lawsuit, which accused him of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of his non-disclosure agreement.
In a separate agreement, Carlstar also agreed to pay damages to Michelin and provided written and enforceable representations and warranties that it had not used, and would never use, Michelin trade secrets or confidential information. Carlstar committed to destroy all Michelin information in its possession and to implement measures to prevent misappropriation in the future.
“Michelin is very serious about protecting its trade secrets, proprietary information and intellectual properties,” said Joanie Martin, chief administrative officer for Michelin North America. “We will continue to pursue aggressive legal action to protect them now and going forward.”
Michelin filed its lawsuits in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (Michelin North America, Inc. v. Michael Dotson; case no. 6:19-cv-01338; Michelin North America, Inc. v. Michael Dotson et al., case no. 6:20-cv-01132). The lawsuits claimed that Dotson possessed and misappropriated Michelin trade secrets and confidential information after he joined Carlstar.
No evidence was found that Carlstar was ever willfully or maliciously in the possession of Michelin’s confidential or trade secret information. Furthermore, any information found in Carlstar’s possession was never used by Carlstar in any of its processes or formulas.