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FMC Technologies and Employee Win Key First Round Against Cameron in Non-Compete Case
November 4, 2016

HOUSTON – A Texas federal judge ruled for oilfield services company FMC Technologies Singapore Pte Ltd and one of its employees in a non-compete agreement fight with competitor Cameron International Corp. where the FMC employee previously worked.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas found that Cameron’s non-compete contract was overly broad and rejected the company’s motion for an injunction to prevent its former employee from working in the Middle East.

FMC and its employee Steven Abbiss are represented by Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. (or AZA) partner Todd Mensing and associates Sammy Ford IV and Doug Salisbury.

While he was employed at Cameron, Mr. Abbiss had responsibility over the company’s operations in Oman and Yemen only. Judge Atlas rejected Cameron’s argument that Mr. Abbiss had heard confidential information related to the company’s operations throughout the Middle East. The judge determined that what Mr. Abbiss heard was merely a generic discussion and not one that barred him from working for FMC in markets outside Oman and Yemen.

The online legal news service Law360 wrote about the dispute in an article headlined, “Cameron Can’t Block Former Exec From All Middle East Work” (subscription required). Mr. Mensing told Law360 his clients “feel vindicated by the ruling.”

“This has always been a bullying and overreaching lawsuit that was about killing competition,” Mr. Mensing said. “Cameron didn’t want to compete in the marketplace, so they brought this litigation instead, and it didn’t work.”

The case is Cameron International Corporation v. Abbiss et al., case number 4:16-cv-02117, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized in Chambers USA 2016 among the best in Texas commercial law; U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms for 2017; and Law360 as one of only 13 Texas Powerhouse law firms. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country’s best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 1000. Read more at http://www.azalaw.com.

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