United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
STEPHANIE DAWKINS DAVIS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE [142, 158]
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN United States District Court Judge.
Introduction and Procedural Background
September 19, 2014, American Furukawa, Inc.
(“Furukawa” or “Plaintiff”), filed
this action against former employee, Isthihar Hossain
(“Defendant Hossain” or “Hossain”).
See Dkt. No. 1. On September 16, 2015, Furukawa
amended the Complaint to add another Defendant, HT Wire &
Cable America, LLC (“HT Wire”). See Dkt.
No. 65. In the Complaint, Furukawa alleges eight Counts: (I)
violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
(“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030; (II) Fraud;
(III) Breach of Contract; (IV) Breach of Fiduciary Duty; (V)
Misappropriation of Trade Secrets under MICH. COMP. LAWS
§ 445.1902; (VI) Conversion; (VII) Tortious
Interference; and (VIII) Civil Conspiracy. See Dkt.
No. 1. Hossain and HT Wire (collectively,
“Defendants”) moved to dismiss the action and
defer to arbitration. See Dkt. No. 79. The Court
denied that Motion on November 19, 2015. See Dkt.
No. 97. On April 19, 2016, Plaintiff and Defendants moved for
Summary Judgement. See Dkt. No. 117, 119. The Court
granted Summary Judgment to the Defendants with respect to
Count VI. The Court denied Summary Judgment to both sides
with respect to Counts I-V, VII, and VIII. See Dkt.
stipulated to waive their right to a jury trial. See
Dkt. No. 144. A bench trial is set for November 11, 2016.
Presently before the Court are Plaintiff's Motions in
Limine  and Plaintiff's Supplemental Motions in
is a supplier of advanced automotive technology, electronics
and specialty products. Isthihar Hossain accepted employment
with Furukawa in September, 2011 as a Power Systems
Hossain began his employment with Furukawa, Furukawa asserts
that Hossain agreed to abide by several of Furukawa's
Policies, including Furukawa's policy on “Removable
Media Use.” Furukawa also asserts that Hossain entered
into an Invention Assignment & Secrecy Agreement
(“Secrecy Agreement”) with Furukawa, which
dictated that Hossain “will regard and preserve as
confidential all trade secrets pertaining to the
Company's business that have been or may be obtained by
me by reason of my employment.” The Secrecy Agreement
also dictated that Hossain would not “without prior
authority from the company to do so, use for [his] own
benefit or purposes, nor disclose to others, either during
[his] employment or thereafter” any trade secrets
pertaining to Furukawa's business.
2014, Hossain became a Senior Production Manager.
Hossain's position gave him access to Furukawa's
intellectual property and other confidential information. On
March 11, 2014, while he was still employed by Furukawa,
Furukawa asserts that Hossain entered into an
“Employment Agreement” with Heibei Huatong Wires
& Cables Group Co., Ltd. (“Huatong”)-a
competitor and supplier to Furukawa.
March 17, 2014, Hossain informed Furukawa he was unable to
work due to a basketball injury. Notably, pursuant to his
alleged Agreement with Huatong, Hossain was scheduled to
begin his employment with Huatong on March 17, 2014. As a
result of his reported injury, Hossain was granted a leave of
absence, commencing March 18, 2014. As a condition for
granting leave, Furukawa asserts that it instructed Hossain
that he could not do any work for Furukawa while he was away.
Despite the instructions to the contrary, Furukawa asserts
that Hossain accessed information on his company laptop,
copied Furukawa files, and sent them from his company email
to his personal “gmail” account during his leave
March 20, 2014, Huatong announced that it would no longer
sell Electrical Submersible Pump (“ESP”) cables
and photovoltaic (“PV”) cables (collectively, the
“Cables”) to the United States market, through
April 24, 2014, Hossain sent an email to Furukawa's
Manager of Human Resources stating that his doctor had
cleared him to return to work. On Monday, April 28, 2014,
Hossain announced that he was resigning his employment,
effective May 2, 2014. Furukawa accepted Hossain's
resignation, effective April 29, 2014, and paid him through
May 2, 2014.
his alleged Agreement with Huatong, when Hossain resigned, he
allegedly indicated that he did not “have another job
lined up or anything, ” but his “previous
employer” had been contacting him, and he was
“pretty sure” that he could get a job with them.
Upon his departure from Furukawa, Hossain was asked to sign
an “Employee Certification & Agreement on
Termination, ” certifying that he had returned all
property belonging to the Company, had complied with the
Secrecy Agreement and would continue to abide by that
Agreement. Hossain allegedly refused to sign.
about May 12, 2014, Furukawa learned that Huatong had
approached WTEC-one of Furukawa's customers-about buying
cable from Huatong. On May 16, 2014, Furukawa received an
email from WTEC regarding WTEC's “compound”
requirements and “payment terms.” The email from
WTEC was addressed to Hossain at his former Furukawa email
address. On May 30, 2014, WTEC confirmed that Hossain was
acting as Huatong's agent with respect to the sales
negotiations between WTEC and Huatong. On June 5, 2014,
Furukawa received another email from WTEC, addressed to
Hossain's Furukawa email address, purportedly asking
Hossain to quote the price for several sets of cables.
sent a letter to Hossain on June 9, 2014, reminding him of
his obligations under the Secrecy Agreement. In the letter,
Furukawa demanded that Hossain immediately cease and desist
from any further solicitation of cable business from WTEC or
any other customer of Furukawa. Furukawa also sought
assurances that Hossain would abide by his trade secret
obligations, and would not use or disclose any trade secret
information that he acquired during his employment with
Furukawa. Hossain purportedly refused to comply with this
request. Furukawa attempted to negotiate with Hossain to
resolve the dispute. Throughout the negotiations, Hossain
purportedly maintained that he had returned all property
belonging to Furukawa and fully complied with the Secrecy
Agreement. After looking into the actions of Hossain,
Furukawa brought the instant action pursuant to the CFAA and