No. 1798 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order dated June 15, 1978 of the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Montgomery at No. 77-06093.
Bernard Chanin, Philadelphia, for appellant.
James C. McConnon, Philadelphia, for appellees.
Price, Hester and Hoffman, JJ.
The Carborundum Company (appellant) appeals from an order of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas adjudicating it to be in contempt of court.
Some of the facts surrounding this appeal are disputed, however, for our disposition of the issues before us, they need not be resolved.
The appellant initiated an action in equity on April 6, 1977 against George J. Monaghan (Monaghan) and Combustion Engineering, Inc., (C. E.). Monaghan had been employed by the appellant from November, 1969 to March 21, 1977, at which time he accepted a position with C. E. The complaint alleged that C. E., in furtherance of its desire to enter the field of ceramic fiber products, had hired Monaghan from appellant for the express purpose of using Monaghan's knowledge of the trade secrets and technical information of the appellant, a long-time leader in the manufacture of ceramic fiber products. The complaint further alleged that Monaghan, shortly before he terminated his employment with the appellant, had photocopied certain documents relating to the above related manufacture. The complaint asserted that all these actions were in direct violation of Monaghan's employment contract with appellant which forbade him from accepting employment or engaging in business with any company in the field of ceramic fibers. The prayer for relief requested the court to enforce the provisions of Monaghan's employment contract via an injunction and to require both Monaghan and C. E. to account for all damages resulting from the acts complained of.
Hearings on this matter were held on April 14 and 15, 1977. Appellant had some trouble in serving Monaghan and although it did get service on April 15, 1977, apparently was concerned about possible jurisdictional problems and thus initiated another suit (alleging the same cause of action) in Niagara County, New York against Monaghan, on April 19, 1977.*fn1
On April 22, 1977, counsel for C. E. entered an appearance for Monaghan in the Montgomery County proceedings and
sought permanent injunctive relief against the New York action. A temporary restraining order was issued against the appellant and after a hearing on April 25, 1977, the ...