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September 18, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Sales exec says competitor that recruited him cost him his job

A sales executive claims a sign company that recruited him cost him his job by bungling his attempts to get out of a noncompete agreement.

John Noonan of White Plains sued Greenfield, Wisconsin-based Everbrite LLC for $1.4 million on Aug. 10 in White Plains federal court.

“Due to Everbrite’s negligence,” the complaint stated, Noonan’s “employment with his then-current employer was involuntarily terminated.”

Kevin Soule, Everbrite’s legal counsel and human resources director, did not immediately respond to a telephone request for comment.

Noonan went to work for Walton Signage in February 2017 as executive vice president of sales and marketing. Everbrite began recruiting him the following month.

Noonan claims he rejected two offers, but on Aug 2, 2017, he was sent a third offer that he accepted.

Everbrite knew he had signed a confidentiality and noncompete agreement with Walton, Noonan claims, that specifically named Everbrite as off-limits.

The Everbrite job was to begin after the noncompete expired or when Walton released him from the noncompete agreement.

Noonan notified Gary Walton, owner of Walton Signage, continued working for him and began discussing the noncompete.

“Gary Walton assured Noonan he would not stand in his way,” Noonan’s lawyer, Christopher A. D’Angelo of Offit Kurman P.A. in Manhattan, said in the complaint. But for three weeks, Everbrite failed to provide the information Walton needed to release Noonan from the agreement.

On Aug. 23, Walton fired Noonan.

Everbrite encouraged Noonan to continue pursuing a release from the noncompete, the complaint stated. Discussions resumed, and twice Noonan and Walton reached tentative agreements.

Everbrite allegedly rejected the first deal and demanded changes. Then Everbrite notified Noonan on Dec. 27 that it was not hiring him.

Everbrite allegedly claimed that Noonan had rejected the third, Aug. 2nd job offer but cited a July email in which Noonan had rejected the second offer.

Noonan claims Everbright owes him $710,000, including one year of base pay and guaranteed bonus, plus an equal amount in damages, for a total of $1.42 million.

Noonan now works for Atlas Sign Industries, according to his LinkedIn profile, as a brand implementation specialist.