JLG sues Sany and former employee
Oshkosh/JLG has filed a lawsuit against ex-employee, McKenzie Ditty, and Sany America alleging that one of its former senior project engineers may have provided the Chinese equipment manufacturer with confidential information on recently patented boom lift technology which is intended for a new line of boom lifts the manufacturer is working on.
JLG was granted the patent for an internally supported power track for boom lifts in April, Ditty is cited as a co-inventor. According to the lawsuit filed in a Wisconsin court, Ditty was recruited by Sany in September with the offer of a 50 percent higher salary than he had with JLG where he had worked in a number of roles over the past 11 years, including a two year spell working on new boom lifts for the manufacturer’s plant in China.
The initial summons was filed in October, with a slew or further documents and motions filed on December 14th.
Oshkosh claims that: “Ditty may have taken or retained JLG confidential information and trade secrets after his departure from the company, failing to immediately surrender or return it to the company. Furthermore, prior to departing from JLG, Ditty wiped his company issued cell phone before returning it.”
“Ditty was intimately involved with and helped to design and develop the new generation of JLG’s boom lift product line and has substantial knowledge of the new products, new technology and other confidential information and trade secrets relating to same.”
Oshkosh is seeking a court order to block Sany from “misappropriating or threatening to misappropriate JLG’s trade secrets,” as well as monetary damages.
JLG has something of a history in going after key employees that are hired away by a competitor, whether there is any justification for their action in this case it is impossible to say. It would also be totally inappropriate given that it is an active legal case.