Jury Awards Energy Industry Website Millions in Trade Secret Dispute

Houston’s Jordan Lynch & Cancienne secures more than $3 million in damages

HOUSTON – A Houston jury has returned a multimillion-dollar verdict in favor of Rigzone.com, Inc., an online oil industry employment website, after finding that a former employee stole Rigzone’s trade secrets to help grow a competing website.

Judge David Hittner of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas today entered a final judgment, awarding Rigzone just over $3 million in damages for misappropriation of trade secrets. The jury also found that former employee David Kent violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Kent, who co-founded and then sold Rigzone, unlawfully accessed Rigzone’s computer systems and stole hundreds of thousands of resumes, profiles and other confidential information. He then exploited the stolen information by inviting Rigzone members to join a new website he created called Oilpro.com.

During the nine-day trial – which began in November 2020 but was paused due to a COVID-19 outbreak – Jordan Lynch & Cancienne attorneys presented evidence detailing Mr. Kent’s scheme. Jurors reached a verdict on March 26, finding that Mr. Kent misappropriated the company’s trade secrets and breached his fiduciary duty to Rigzone by using the confidential information and engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity.

“This verdict is almost five years in the making,” said attorney Walter Lynch of Jordan Lynch & Cancienne. “While this case has certainly seen many twists and turns, including a delay due to a global pandemic, we are grateful to the jury for its diligence and pleased to have a decision in our client’s favor.”

The case is DHI Group et al. v. Kent Jr. et al., Cause No. 4:16-cv-01670. The Jordan Lynch & Cancienne trial team included Mr. Lynch, Amir Halevy and Jeb Golinkin.

Jordan, Lynch & Cancienne PLLC is a Houston-based civil trial law firm whose lawyers have a proven courtroom track record in high-stakes litigation nationwide. They represent clients as both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial disputes, construction matters, products liability, toxic torts, trade secret, and catastrophic personal injury claims. Flexibility in fee structuring is a hallmark of the way the firm does business. To learn more, visit the website at https://www.jlcfirm.com/.

Media Contact:
April Arias

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