Allstate Insurance v. Sawicki
Allegations that the defendants required the plaintiff's exclusive agents to provide their confidential usernames and passwords to the plaintiff's databases and servers may be sufficient to allege unfair trade practices that extend beyond the scope of the Connecticut Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The plaintiff insurance company sued the defendants, alleging that the defendants intentionally concealed a competitor's misappropriation of confidential information, engaged in a civil conspiracy and violated CUTPA, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff's civil conspiracy claim. Allegedly, six of the individual defendants were independent exclusive insurance agents of Allstate, and they signed contracts, agreeing that they would not disclose confidential information. Allstate alleged that the individual defendants who were exclusive agents provided a competitor, Joshua Sawicki of the Sawicki Agency, with confidential user names and passwords for Allstate's databases and servers. Allegations that Joshua Sawicki and the Sawicki Agency required Allstate's insurance agents to provide user names and passwords, in breach of the insurance agents' contracts with Allstate, were sufficient to state a claim for conspiracy. The court denied the defense motion to dismiss the plaintiff's conspiracy count. The defendants also moved to dismiss the plaintiff's unfair trade practices count. The defendants argued that the Connecticut Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which applies to allegations of misappropriations of trade secrets, pre-empted any CUTPA claim. Allegations that the defendants required the plaintiff's exclusive insurance agents to provide their usernames and passwords may be sufficient to allege unfair trade practices that extend beyond the scope of the Connecticut Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The court denied the motion to dismiss the plaintiff's CUTPA count.