Oct. 05–Two former employees of the Washington Twp. financial-planning and wealth-management firm Parker Carlson & Johnson deny that they violated employment and confidentiality agreements when they resigned last month to form a rival firm in Beavercreek, and they say their former employer has defamed them and interfered with their new business.
Parker Carlson & Johnson filed a civil lawsuit in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Sept. 17 claiming that the two former employees, Sandra Pierce of Oakwood and Amy Barker of Centerville, violated employment and confidentiality agreements when they departed the firm on Sept. 11 to form their new company. Its lawsuit accuses Pierce, a former equity owner of the firm from 2002 through last month, and Barker, who joined Parker Carlson as director of portfolio management in 2002, of “executing a plan to steal information” from their then-employer.
The lawsuit against the two former employees and their new firm, Parallel Advisors LLC, seeks an injunction and monetary damages in excess of $25,000.
But in an answer to the lawsuit and a counterclaim against their former employer, Pierce and Barker said Parker Carlson & Johnson “misled clients, defamed Pierce and Barker, and sought to disrupt the transfer of client accounts” to their newly formed firm.
The two “found themselves caught in the middle of an unpleasant company transition” involving Parker Carlson seeking to merge with another company, and decided to seek new employment, the counterclaim says. Barker denied in court documents that she signed any non-compete agreement or a confidentiality agreement with her former employer.
Some clients, the counterclaim says, “feel caught in the crossfire” and are unsure about whether they can transfer their account to the new firm. The counterclaim seeks more than $25,000 in compensatory damages and an injunction prohibiting Parker Carlson from defaming them or misleading clients as to their account-transfer options.
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