Greenville, South Carolina – Michelin North America Inc. and Carlstar Group L.L.C. have settled legal differences over alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.
Michelin said the company agreed to settle lawsuits in US district court in for the district of South Carolina, Greenville division, against former Carlstar and Michelin employee Michael Dotson, who went to work for Carlstar in 2018.
Dotson resigned his position at Carlstar in mid-August.
Carlstar, in a separate agreement, also agreed to pay undisclosed 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," Michelin said.
Michelin filed suit against Carlstar and Dotson in May 2019.
"Carlstar committed to destroy all Michelin information in its possession and to implement measures to prevent misappropriation in the future," Michelin said.
Dotson agreed to pay undisclosed "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," Michelin said.
"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," Michelin said.
The federal court also permanently ordered Mr. Dotson from using or revealing any Michelin trade secret or confidential information. He was ordered to return any company information in his possession, Michelin said.
Dotson worked in Michelin's research and development department from April 2005 to August 2018, leaving the company then to become vice president of business transformations at Carlstar, according to Michelin.
Michelin alleged it was told by a Carlstar employee in December 2018 that Mr. Dotson allegedly shared Michelin documents during meetings at Carlstar. Michelin claimed the information constituted trade secrets.
Dotson previously denied all Michelin allegations.
Franklin, Tennessee-based Carlstar produces and sells a range of industrial and specialty tires under the Carlisle, ITP and Marastar brand names.