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Businessman sues former partners

August 14, 2012
By DEANNE JOHNSON - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

LISBON - The owner of a New Waterford cooler business has filed an injunction against two former business partners and an employee claiming they have been stealing clients, trade secrets, inventory and money from business.

According to court documents filed Monday, Michael J. Mercure of Canfield, owner of Cooler World LLC and Fan-Atic Coolers LLC has filed for an injunction against Brian K. Hastings, Martins Ferry; Joseph E. Pivik, New Kensington, Pa.; and Christopher Davis, Austintown. Hastings and Pivik are listed as minority members of the businesses and Davis is an employee.

Documents allege that during the week of Aug. 6, while Mercure was on a business trip in California, the three defendants cleaned out the company offices, removing everything involving the business including Mercure's personal property. All computer passwords were changed so Mercure could no longer access them. Business clients were contacted in an alleged attempt to steal their accounts from Cooler World and Fan-Atic Coolers.

The business specializes in water coolers, especially those with team logos on them.

Further the lawsuit accuses the defendants of misrepresenting the business and Mercure, sharing trade secrets and causing irreparable harm to Mercure's business. It further states the defendants engaged in corporate raiding.

Mercure and his attorney, Scott Essad of Boardman, are requesting an injunction requiring the defendants stop soliciting clients and suppliers of the businesses. They additionally request the defendants return property of the business including vendor lists. For damages, the lawsuit seeks an excess of $25,000.



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