Abbott Laboratories last week filed a federal lawsuit against Jerome Clavel, whom Abbott described as vice president of global marketing in its diagnostics business, claiming he is "about to take its valuable plans and trade secrets to its direct competitor, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc."
The lawsuit in Northern District of U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois where Abbott's headquarters are located states that Clavel worked in the area primarily responsible for Abbott's rapid diagnostics COVID testing. It states he resigned from Abbott on October 15 "telling his boss and a Human Resources representative that he was doing so for his health and well-being." The lawsuit said that while Clavel said he had not "signed on with any job at this point," he had actually signed an offer letter accepting the job of vice president of marketing Bio-Rad's Clinical Diagnostics division on October 15, "the very same day he resigned."
The suit says that Clavel had access to Abbott's confidential and trade secret information about its current and future business plans. "Clavel knew that going to Bio-Rad's Clinical Diagnostics division would be a breach of his Employment Agreement with Abbott, which prohibits him from working in a similar function for a competing business for twelve months after leaving his employment," the lawsuit says. The lawsuit accuses Clavel of lying about signing with Bio-Rad on numerous occasions.
The lawsuit seeks an order preventing Clavel from assuming any position at Bio-Rad and from disclosing Abbott trade secrets or proprietary information.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain's Chicago Business.