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TYSON METAL PRODUCTS v. MARCIE MCCANN (08/15/88)

filed: August 15, 1988.

TYSON METAL PRODUCTS, INC., APPELLEE,
v.
MARCIE MCCANN, AN INDIVIDUAL, AND STAINLESS MANUFACTURING, INC., A CORPORATION, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division at No. G.D. 87-13658.

COUNSEL

Ralph A. Finizio, Pittsburgh, for appellants.

Harold Gondelman, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Beck and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 376 Pa. Super. Page 462]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, sitting in equity, granting a preliminary injunction against the appellant/Marcie McCann on motion of the plaintiff/Tyson Metal Products, Inc. We reverse.

[ 376 Pa. Super. Page 463]

The record discloses that a hearing was conducted on August 11-12, 1988, to assess the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. At the proceeding, the vice-president of Tyson Metal Products, Inc., Harvey Tyson, appeared and testified in substance that, during McCann's employ with the plaintiff, she had access to prices charged by suppliers to the plaintiff for some 6-20 vital items which went into proposals ("bids") submitted to its largest customer, Burger King Corporation, which constituted 20-30% of its gross sales of $12,000,000.00 a year in its manufacture of food service equipment.

It was Mr. Tyson's contention that, with McCann securing employment with its main rival in the business, the appellant/Stainless Manufacturing, Inc., her disclosure of the "price list", accumulated over the years through adroit negotiations to afford an advantage, would tip the scales in favor of Stainless and negate whatever leverage the plaintiff had over its competition. More particularly, it was the position of the plaintiff that because of the lower price it was able to secure from a supplier on a product, it was able to pass on the savings to its customers and, thus, obtain a larger share of the market.

If Stainless learned of this "price list", it, supposedly, would contact the supplier to obtain the same low price, equalize the competition and cut into the 2-5 million dollars in sales it had with Burger King Corporation.

Mr. Tyson also testified that he specifically informed McCann that the "price list" was confidential. Yet, during the years of McCann's employment for the plaintiff, it was only within a "couple of weeks" of the hearing date that availability to the information at issue was restricted.

When McCann took the stand, she recounted how she had never been advised of the confidentiality of the "price list". Further, when she refused to sign an employment agreement with the plaintiff she was still promoted to Sales Administrator, which encompassed easy access to the forty-one pages, as well as eleven pages of supplementation, making up the "price ...


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