The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION RE: DEFENDANT‟S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION AND IMPROPER VENUE OR ALTERNATIVELY MOTION
TO TRANSFER VENUE (Doc. No. 23)
Presently before this Court is Defendant, Donald Lavine‟s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and Improper Venue or alternatively Motion to Transfer Venue. Doc. No. 23. After careful consideration of Defendant‟s Motion (Doc. No. 23), brief in support thereof (Doc. No. 25), Plaintiff‟s Response thereto (Doc. No. 35), and Defendant‟s Reply Brief (Doc. No. 56), Defendant‟s Motion will be DENIED.
The facts of the case, as taken from Plaintiff‟s Complaint and accepted as true solely for the purpose of this Opinion are as follows:
Defendant, Donald Lavine, is a former employee of Plaintiff, CentiMark, which is a national commercial roofing company based in Pennsylvania. Doc. No. 1, ¶¶ 1-2. Lavine signed an Employment Agreement with CentiMark on November 12, 1998 and began his employment on November 16, 1998. Id. at ¶ 16. Lavine‟s Employment Agreement, which was signed and initialed on each page, provided the following:
1. Post-employment restrictions on competition
2. A requirement to notify CentiMark of future employment
3. CentiMark‟s right to obtain injunctive relief to enforce the agreement
4. Pennsylvania law would govern any dispute about the Employment Agreement
5. Any legal actions to enforce the Employment Agreement would be brought in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
Although initially hired as a Technical Representative, Lavine eventually became a Senior Project Manager assigned to the metro portions of Detroit, Michigan, with key contacts with CentiMark customers. Id at ¶ 2. As part of his duties, Lavine had access to confidential proprietary business information regarding CentiMark‟s current and potential customers and pricing. Id. at ¶ 14. Lavine‟s Employment Agreement provided that he be bound by post-employment obligations, including non-disclosure of such confidential information, a non-compete provision, and a non-solicitation of customer provision. Id. at ¶ 28.
In or about September 2010, CentiMark discovered that Lavine had improperly emailed sensitive CentiMark documents, including a list of all CentiMark warranty customers in Michigan, to his personal email address. Id. at ¶¶ 54-55. The list of all CentiMark warranty customers is an important confidential document because it indicates when particular businesses, which were often large, important, repeat customers which "generat[ed] millions of dollars of revenue on an annual basis," may need CentiMark or a competitor‟s roofing services. Doc. No. 1, ¶ 38, 41-45, 58. CentiMark was suspicious of Lavine‟s actions because of comments that he had made regarding his desire to set up a competing business. Id. at ¶ 62. When confronted, Lavine responded that he needed the documents to enable him to work from home. Id. at ¶ 64.
CentiMark demanded that Lavine return the documents, which it was assured would be returned. ...