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p83 Town & Country House & Home Service, Inc. v. Newbery 即使代理关系终止后，雇员对前雇主的商业秘密等有诚信义务。
3 N.Y.2d 554, 147 N.E.2d 724, 170 N.Y.S.2d 328, 1958 N.Y. Brief Fact Summary. Defendants, Percy Newbery et al., are former employees of Plaintiff, Town & Country House & Home Service, Inc. Plaintiff brought an action after Defendants started their own competing company targeting Plaintiff’s customers. Synopsis of Rule of Law. An employee can owe a fiduciary duty to their employer for the employer’s trade secrets after their service has been terminated. Facts. Plaintiff operated a home cleaning business. The husband and wife who ran Defendant company started the business by making several hundred calls and screening entire neighborhoods that were likely candidates for their services. After time, the list grew to over 200 customers. Defendants worked for Plaintiff, but they eventually quit and worked third shift at another company. Defendants decided they would begin their own home-cleaning company, and they solicited Plaintiff’s customers for their own business. Some customers decided to switch from Plaintiff’s company to their company. Plaintiff sought damages for the lost profits, and wanted Defendants cease their operations, claiming they compromised （ 损 害 ） his trade secrets. Issue. The issue is whether Defendant is liable for damages for work performed after their employment ended. Held. Defendants owe Plaintiff the profits they made from customers taken from Plaintiff, but they do not have to cease their operations. Defendants had a duty to protect Plaintiff’s trade secrets and are prohibited from profiting from the secrets even after their employment ended. The customer listing was formulated through many much effort on behalf of Plaintiffs, but their methods of cleaning a house were nothing so secretive as to justify prohibiting Defendant’s from continuing their cleaning services. Discussion. Most people are at will employees wherein either side can terminate the employment at any time. However, public policy would dictate that an employee should be able to continue in the field of work while not having a right to exploit information that was held in confidence at their prior employment.
2 . T&C sued Newbery et al. Rossmore typically made hundreds of calls to gain a small number of prospects. The Appellate Division held that Newbery & Assoc.e. Mrs. for competitive purposes.. T&C contended that its business was “unique. After terminating their employment with T&C. and that T&C did not represent to Newbery et al. Newbery et al. wife of T&C’s president. Rossmore would make appointments to visit them personally to close the sales and determine the prices they would be charged. Mrs.. while working for T&C. that its customer information was confidential. Mrs. Newbery and some associates (Newbery et al. and thus T&C was entitled to relief. formed their own house cleaning company which directly competed with their former employer. breached their confidential relationship with T&C by appropriating its trade secrets. Selling T&C’s service was very difficult. After discovering that Newbery et al. In its complaint.. i. built the company’s customer base by randomly calling residents in a certain section of town that she determined might contain likely prospects. built their customer base by soliciting T&C’s customers. Rossmore. alleging that Newbery et al. T&C’s customer information. The appellate division reversed the trial court’s decision.Fiduciary obligations of agents Duties during and after termination of agency (grabbing and leaving) Town & Country House & Home Service. Rossmore. Newbery et al. After interested prospects were contacted. had engaged in unfair competition. form their own business and appropriate T&C’s customers for their own gain. finding that Newbery et al. Inc. conspired （ 密 谋 ） to quit T&C. personal and confidential” and that Newbery et al.’s actions constituted a violation of the fiduciary obligations they owed to T&C as employees. (T&C) (plaintiff) was a house cleaning business run by Mr.) (defendants) worked for T&C for nearly three years. holding that there was nothing secret or confidential about T&C’s business. solicited its customers. The trial court dismissed T&C’s complaint.