National Fish & Seafood, Tampa Bay Fisheries  settle corporate espionage case

Both sides said the terms of the settlement in a corporate espionage case between National Fish & Seafood in Gloucester and Tampa Bay Fisheries in Florida are confidential and they are satisfied with the outcome.

The corporate espionage lawsuit filed last July by National Fish & Seafood against a former employee and a Florida-based seafood competitor is over before it ever reached trial.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin, sitting in federal court in Boston, acceded to joint stipulations from opposing counsel to dismiss the case nearly eight months after National Fish brought the action against former employee Kathleen A. Scanlon and a host of executives at competitor Tampa Bay Fisheries and its parent company, Red Chamber.

In its lawsuit, Gloucester-based National Fish claimed Scanlon, with the urging and assistance of her new employers at Tampa Bay Fisheries, absconded with a litany of trade secrets, recipes and processes when she left National Fish to work for Tampa Bay Fisheries in July 2018.

Scanlon had worked at National Fish for 23 years, rising to head of research and development and quality control.

Attorneys for both sides declined comment Monday or did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the settlement. In a release, both sides said the terms of the settlement are confidential and they are satisfied with the outcome.

"We are pleased to have reached this settlement," National Fish President Todd Provost said in a statement that was echoed by Danny Woodson, vice president of procurement for Tampa Bay Fisheries.

"Tampa Bay also is pleased to have concluded the litigation," Woodson said.

The joint stipulation of dismissal did say that each party in the lawsuit "will bear its, her, or his own attorney's fees, expenses and costs."

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT.

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