A Mississippi-based fitness company is suing a Galveston couple, asserting they used trade secrets garnered when the husband was an employee to start a new island fitness club.

Fitness Group filed the lawsuit against Jason Voges, Crystal Voges and their new company, Island Life Fitness, Dec. 1 in the 10th District Court.

Jason Voges worked in various positions for Fitness Group starting in June 2010 at different fitness clubs across Texas, the lawsuit asserts.

“One of the keys to plaintiff’s success is its unique employment, marketing, pricing, business operation, business development and management techniques and strategies, as well as its employee benefits and compensation procedures,” the lawsuit asserts.

Jason Voges signed two nondisclosure agreements during his tenure with Fitness Group that dictated what he could do with trade information, the lawsuit asserts.

Fitness Group terminated Jason Voges on Feb. 17 while he was an area manager at Anytime Fitness in Galveston and paid him a severance, the lawsuit asserts.

Jason Voges then requested a waiver of contractual obligations Feb. 28 to get a job at another fitness club and Fitness Group allowed a limited waiver so he could get a job at that particular company, the lawsuit asserts.

Fitness Group then learned that Jason and Crystal Voges are opening a fitness club, called Island Life Fitness, about 2.5 miles from Anytime Fitness, the lawsuit asserts.

One Anytime Fitness employee has already said he might leave for the new company and several current customers at Anytime Fitness have been contacted by Island Life Fitness, the lawsuit asserts.

The lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages, court records show.

Judge Kerry Neves Monday approved a temporary restraining order in the case, court records show.

The defendants have not yet responded to the case, court records show.

EMAIL DISCUSSIONS

Emails between a contracting company conducting a road milling project on Interstate 45 and Texas Department of Transportation officials show a struggle to reply to a wave of complaints about the work.

Durwood Greene Construction has been criticized for the work it performed on the north- and southbound lanes of Interstate 45 along a 2.1-mile stretch between Tiki Island and Texas City because residents said it led to damage to their cars.

“We are returning the calls as soon as we get them,” said Bill Babbington, an employee with the construction company, in an email The Daily News received through an open records request. “Nick is working nights on the job so he doesn’t get in until late.”

Residents complained to the Texas Department of Transportation that Durwood Greene Construction wasn’t returning complaint calls about the damage.

Department officials in another email discuss the possibility of directing callers straight to Durwood Greene’s insurance company before deciding it best to stay out of it.

“As you know, TxDOT does not facilitate third-party claims,” said Sylvia Wright, an employee with the department. “But we can, however, according to OCC Tort, provide the contractors certificate of insurance for them to file a claim, should anyone ask for other options due to the lack of response from the contractor.”

Officials decided against getting involved.

Attorney William Underwood III is representing about 85 people seeking compensation for vehicles they said were damaged during Durwood Greene’s road milling project.

Durwood Greene was awarded a $3.32 million contract from the state transportation department for the project, which required the company to keep the road safe for travel and in passable condition during projects, according to the filing.

Durwood Greene Construction has not responded to numerous requests for comment. An attorney representing Durwood Greene also hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

PLUMBING PROBLEMS

A Houston man is suing a San Antonio-based plumber in a Galveston County district court, asserting he has been without plumbing at his county residence all year because of bad work on the property.

Shawn McPeters filed the lawsuit against Gabriel Mendez doing business as Bueno Plumbville Nov. 2 in the 122nd District Court.

McPeters and Mendez reached an agreement in December 2016 over plumbing work at a Galveston County residence that included a two-year warranty, the lawsuit asserts.

Less than three months after the work was done, McPeters started having issues with the plumbing and Mendez hasn’t gone out to make repairs, according to the lawsuit.

McPeters has been without reliable plumbing all of 2017 and needs about $40,000 to repair problems created by the initial work, the lawsuit asserts.

The lawsuit seeks $100,000 in damages.

The defendant has not yet responded to the suit, court records show.

TRIALS THIS WEEK

Two Galveston County courts will host juries to hear trials this week.

The 10th District Court will hear evidence against Malik Toyjai Hunter, 22, and the 122nd District Court will hear evidence against Brian Anthony Cheek, 43, both on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, Assistant Criminal District Attorney Bill Reed, the felony division chief, said.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.