Thomas' English Muffins' Nooks-and-Crannies Knowledge to Remain Secret for Now

"On December 7, 2009, Hostess directed Mr. Botticella to execute an 'Acknowledgment and Representation Form,' which stated that Mr. Botticella would not share any confidential or proprietary BBakeries information with Hostess after beginning his new employment there, and that Hostess' management was not interested in obtaining any such information from Mr. Botticella," his filings state.

Botticella also denied he would necessarily have any involvement in producing muffins for Hostess.

"There is no evidence that Mr. Botticella's new position with Hostess would involve any responsibility for English muffin production. There is therefore no evidence that it will be impossible for Mr. Botticella to perform his job at Hostess without using or divulging confidential information of BBakeries," his filings said.

However, Surrick found that Botticella accessed sensitive documents on his final day of work at Bimbo, and a computer expert showed that an external drive had been connected to Botticella's laptop while he accessed those documents.

Botticella said he simply was practicing computer skills.

"During his final month at BBakeries, Mr. Botticella also used an external device to practice his computer skills ... specifically, transferring files," documents filed in his case claimed. "Many of the files on which Mr. Botticella practiced were stale or nonconfidential." Surrick found Botticella's attempts to explain his conduct were "simply not credible."

"Defendant's conduct before leaving Bimbo, in not disclosing to Bimbo his acceptance of a job offer from a direct competitor, remaining in a position to receive Bimbo's confidential and trade secret information and, in fact, receiving such information after committing to the Hostess job, and copying Bimbo's trade secret information from his work laptop onto external storage devices, demonstrates an intention to use Bimbo trade secrets during his intended employment with Hostess," Surrick wrote.

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