Former Optum Employee Accused of Using Trade Secrets

A flurry of charges including breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation have been levied against former Optum employee David W. Smith. Earlier this month, a temporary restraining order was issued in a Massachusetts’ District Court by Optum’s parent company, UnitedHealth Group Inc, one of the nation’s behemoth healthcare organizations. The immediate objective to was prevent Mr. Smith from working at ABC, an independent healthcare venture founded by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In her piece, UnitedHealth sues former executive for stealing trade secrets and taking them to Amazon joint health venture, CNBC Health and Science reporter Bertha Coombs (@BerthaCoombs) writes: “In the 18 months leading up to his resignation, Smith played a key role in reviewing Optum’s strategy, and was ‘on [sic] of fewer than 50 people at the company’ who had access to Optum’s detailed profit and loss statements for the entire company.”

Smith’s lawyers responded with a rebuttal citing in part that Optum had failed to identify any trade secrets which had been misappropriated let alone any evidence that any confidential information had been imparted. The pleading also states: “While it is not Smith’s burden, his undisputed evidence proves that ABC offers no products or services to the general market, is not profit-seeking, and does not compete for any business with Optum. The crux of a non-compete restriction is actual competition. Here, there is none, and no TRO is warranted.”

How this plays out in the courts as well as the healthcare arena will be interesting and SmartRules will be keeping watch. The rules for submitting and responding to civil litigation pleadings including complaints, motions, and temporary restraining orders are complicated – and frequently amended. SmartRules saves you time and money by providing the most recent version of any code, rules, or statute in our coverage area.

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Image credit: The Conference Board.

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