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Covidien LP v. Esch

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

September 10, 2017

Covidien LP and Covidien Holding Inc. Plaintiffs,
v.
Brady Esch Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge.

         This dispute arises out of alleged breaches of an employment agreement and a separation agreement between Covidien LP and Covidien Holding Inc. (“plaintiffs” or “Covidien”) and Brady Esch (“defendant”), Covidien's former employee. Plaintiffs allege that defendant breached those agreements by 1) assigning rights to three patents to his new company rather than to Covidien and 2) disclosing plaintiffs' confidential information in the patent applications.

         Pending before this Court is defendant's motion to dismiss, or, alternatively, to transfer venue. For the following reasons, that motion will be denied without prejudice.

         I. Background

         Covidien is a global healthcare company and a manufacturer of medical devices and supplies. At issue in this case are Covidien's Endovenous products which are used to treat varicose veins.

         A. The NNC Agreement

         Brady Esch began working for Covidien in 2009 when Covidien acquired VNUS Technologies, Esch's employer at the time. In or about December, 2009, Esch entered into a “Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation, and Confidentiality Agreement” (“NNC Agreement”) with Covidien.

         Relevant to the pending motion, the NNC Agreement provides that Esch [i]rrevocably consent[s] to personal jurisdiction in the state courts of Massachusetts and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts for any action arising out of this Agreement, regardless of where you reside or perform duties.

         The NNC Agreement further states that Massachusetts law will apply.

         B. The Separation Agreement

         In or about November, 2013, Esch was terminated from Covidien. At that time, he was the Director of Global Marketing for the VNUS business. As part of his termination, Esch signed a “Separation of Employment Agreement and General Release” (“Separation Agreement”).

         The Separation Agreement provides in pertinent part, that Esch waives any objection which [he] may have to the laying of venue of any . . . suit, action or proceeding in any . . . court [located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts].

         The Separation Agreement, like the NNC Agreement, states that Massachusetts law governs.

         C. Esch's ...


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