People Source Staffing Professionals L L C v. Robertson et al
MEMORANDUM RULING re 94 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Will Source Inc, Kathy Williamson, Wayne Williamson, Anna Robertson and 102 MOTION to Strike Items 6,7 & 12 to Attachment #3, Attachment #5, Attachment #6, Items 5 , 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17 - 19 to Attachment #7, Attachment #8, Attachment #9, Attachment #10 & Attachment # 11 to 100 Memora filed by Will Source Inc, Kathy Williamson, Wayne Williamson, Anna Robertson. Signed by Judge Terry A Doughty on 6/3/2021. (crt,Crawford, A)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
PEOPLE SOURCE STAFFING
PROFESSIONALS L L C
CASE NO. 3:19-CV-00430
JUDGE TERRY A. DOUGHTY
ANNA ROBERTSON ET AL
MAG. JUDGE KAYLA D. MCCLUSKY
Before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 94] filed by the Defendants,
Anna Robertson (“Anna”), Will Source, Inc. (“Will Source”), Kathy Williamson (“Kathy”), and
Wayne Williamson (“Wayne”) (collectively “Defendants”). An opposition was filed by Plaintiff,
People Source Staffing Professionals, LLC (“People Source”) [Doc. No. 100] on April 9, 2021. A
Reply and Motion to Strike [Doc. No. 102] was filed by Anna, Will Source, Kathy and Wayne on
April 16, 2021. An Opposition to the Motion to Strike [Doc. No. 108] was filed by People Source
on May 11, 2021.
For the reasons set forth herein, Defendants’ Motion to Strike is GRANTED IN PART
and DENIED IN PART.
Also for the reasons set forth herein, Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment is
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On April 5, 2019, People Source filed a Complaint and Request for Preliminary and
Permanent Injunctive Relief [Doc. No. 1] against Anna, Wayne, Kathy, Shauna Bailey
(“Shauna”)1, and Will Source. The Complaint was amended on May 17, 2019 [Doc. No. 24], and
Shauna Bailey was later clarified to be Shauna Bradley.
on December 27, 2019 [Doc. No. 66]. In the Second Amended Complaint, Williamson Consulting
Group, Inc. (“Williamson Consulting”) was added as a defendant.2
People Source alleges that on February 1, 2016, it acquired locations in Monroe and in
Ruston, Louisiana, from Diversity One, Inc. (“Diversity One”), owned by Defendants, Wayne and
Kathy. People Source is in the business of providing temporary staffing for their employer
customers. People Source alleges it employs approximately 10,000 temporary staff employees,
with its corporate office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and additionally has eleven (11) offices
located throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana.
People Source’s lawsuit resulted from a “mass resignation” by People Source employees
on March 15, 2019. People Source alleges the Defendants conspired to set up and did set up Will
Source, which directly competes with People Source. People Source also alleges that Anna was
an Area Manager for the Louisiana People Source offices in Monroe and Ruston and was later
promoted to Regional Vice-President; that Wayne signed a Consulting Agreement with People
Source; that Kathy was an employee of People Source who signed an Employment Agreement;
and that Shauna was an employee of People Source who signed a Non-Compete and NonSolicitation Agreement. Further, People Source alleges that Will Source was an entity set up by
the other Defendants to directly compete with People Source in the temporary staffing business.
People Source further alleges the Defendants used People Source trade secrets and other
confidential information in their attempt to compete with People Source’s temporary staffing
business in Louisiana. People Source asks for a temporary and permanent injunction against the
Defendants. People Source sets forth eight (8) additional causes of actions against the Defendants:
(1) specific performance against Anna, Wayne, and Shauna; (2) breach of contract against Kathy,
Williamson Consulting was dismissed on March 20, 2020 [Doc. No. 76].
Wayne and Shauna; (3) a violation of the Louisiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“LUTSA”)
against all Defendants; (4) a violation of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (“LUTPA”)
against all Defendants; (5) unjust enrichment against Anna; (6) breach of fiduciary duty against
Anna and Shauna; (7) defamation against all Defendants; and (8) conspiracy to commit fraud by
On July 24, 2019, a hearing on People Source’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction was
held [Doc. No. 46]. At the end of the hearing, the Court granted Defendants’ Oral Motion to
Dismiss the Motion for Preliminary Injunction against Anna, Kathy, Wayne, and Will Source.3
On July 30, 2019, a Report and Recommendation [Doc. No. 35] was adopted by the Court
[Doc. No. 52], and the claims against Wayne for specific performance and breach of contract were
Additionally, all claims against Williamson Consulting were dismissed, per joint motion,
on March 23, 2020 [Doc. No. 77].
The case is set for trial by jury on July 12, 2021 [Doc. No. 88].
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Defendants Anna, Will Source, Kathy, and Wayne have filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. No. 94] and have additionally filed a Motion to Strike [Doc. No. 102] some of the
evidence used by People Source in its Opposition [Doc. No. 100].
The Motion to Strike will be addressed first.
A. MOTION TO STRIKE
Under FED. R. CIV. P. 56(C)(2), “a party may object that the material cited to support or
dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence.” Hearsay
People Source’s motion was reserved against Shauna, who had not been served. The motion was later dismissed
without prejudice against Shauna [Doc. No. 60].
evidence and unsworn documents that cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in
evidence at trial do not qualify as competent opposing evidence. Martin v. John W. Stone Oil
Distrib., Inc., 819 F.2d 547, 549 (5th Cir. 1987).
However, it is not dispositive whether the disputed materials in their current form are
admissible in evidence. At the summary judgment stage, materials cited to support or dispute a
fact need only be capable of being presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence. LSR
Consulting, LLC v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 835 F.3d 530, 534 (5th Cir. 2016) (quoting FED. R.
CIV. P. 56(C)(2)).
Defendants move to strike the following items submitted by People Source in opposing
Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment:
(a) David Bozalis Declaration [Doc. No. 100-3];
(b) People Source’s Responses to Shauna Brandley Discovery [Doc. No. 100-5];
(c) Declaration of Scott Albritton [Doc. No. 100-6];
(d) Declaration of Courtney Keefover and Petrin Production [Doc. No. 100-7]; and
(e) Declaration of Emmett Reeves [Doc. No. 100-11].
1. David Bozalis Declaration
Defendants move to strike items 6, 7, and 12 of David Bozalis (“Bozalis”) Declaration,
which relate to customer lists, contact information, candidates, and rates charged. This information
is stored on the Avionte system at People Source. Bozalis declared only People Source employees
can access this information by use of unique login credentials. Bozalis further declared that in her
role as Area Manager of People Source, Anna Robertson had access to all of People Source’s
customer, employment, and financial information relating to its customers and business in
The Defendants’ objection to this information is that it is not within Bozalis’ personal
knowledge. Defendants argue that Bozalis testified at the July 24, 2019 Preliminary Injunction
Hearing that he did not have any personal knowledge as to which employees in the Monroe People
Source office were able to access the Avionte Program or other People Source Servers.4
People Source argues that Bozalis’ testimony was over a year and a half ago and that he
has since educated himself with the system and has learned information he was not aware of.
People Source maintains that this does not conflict with his earlier testimony because it is
information he has learned since July 24, 2019.
There is no prohibition to learning new information. Whether this is a credible explanation
will be determined at trial. The Court cannot make a credibility determination in a motion for
summary judgment and will not exclude it for purposes of the opposition
The Motion to Strike is DENIED as to Bozalis’ Declaration.
2. People Source’s Responses to Shauna Bradley Discovery
Defendants object to People Source’s discovery responses to Shauna [Doc. No. 100-5]
because copies of the documents were not produced. Additionally, Defendants argue that the
responses were neither verified nor certified by a person with personal knowledge but were signed
only by counsel for People Source. Doc. No. 100-5 is a 21-page pleading entitled Plaintiff’s
Responses to Defendant Shauna Bradley’s Interrogatories and Requests for Production of
Documents. The responses were prepared by counsel for People Source with information provided
by Courtney Keefover and Scott Albritton. The pleading was not verified by Keefover or Albritton.
Additionally, none of the documents answered in the Request for Production portion of the
pleading are attached.
Preliminary Injunction Hearing Transcript, pp. 59, 60.
People Source maintains that the document was attached to provide context to the factual
background of the lawsuit, and this is a request for purposeless relief.
The Court will strike this pleading and will not consider it for purposes of this motion for
summary judgement. It is not within the personal knowledge of the attorney signing the document
and is hearsay. Documents or evidence that have not been properly authenticated cannot support
or defend against a motion for summary judgment. Elwakin Railroad Management Co., LLC v.
CFS Louisiana Midstream Co., 428 F.3d 214 (5th Cir. 2005).
The Motion to Strike is GRANTED as to People Source’s Responses to Shauna Bradley
3. Scott Albritton Declaration
Defendants seek to strike paragraphs 14-17 of Albritton’s Declaration as irrelevant,
superfluous, and designed to do nothing but attempt to engender prejudice against Defendants.
These paragraphs refer to a meeting that took place at Will Source’s office at 1600 Stubbs Avenue,
in Monroe, Louisiana, after the resignation of employees on March 15, 2019.
People Source maintains this information is relevant to its conspiracy claims and the
participation of some of the defendants in activity regarding Will Source.
This information is relevant to some of People Source’s claims. The Motion to Strike
paragraphs 14-17 of Scott Albritton’s Declaration is DENIED.
4. Declaration of Courtney Keefover and Petrin Production in Response to People
Defendants seek to strike paragraphs 3-6, 11, 13-14, 15, and 17-19 of the Keefover
Delcaration. Additionally, Defendants seek to strike Doc No. 100-9 (Will Source/ Petrin Service
Agreement) and Doc. No. 100-10 (text messages) as not authenticated and/or hearsay.
In Paragraphs 3-6, Keefover discusses going into Anna’s office on February 1, 2019 and
learning that Anna was going to resign. Paragraphs 5 and 6 give additional details in regard to the
mass resignations that were going to occur. Defendants move to strike these paragraphs because
they are inconsistent with Keefover’s testimony at the preliminary injunction hearing. At that
hearing, Keefover testified that Anna told her on February 1, 2019 that she was going to resign but
did not give any specifics.
People Source argues that Keefover’s testimony was not inconsistent with her Declaration
because she was not asked to give specific details.
An affidavit, declaration, or deposition that contradicts prior testimony cannot be used in a
motion for summary judgement to create an issue of fact. S.W.S. Erectors, Inc. v. Infax, Inc., 72
F.3d 489, 495-96 (5th Cir. 1996). Paragraphs 3 and 4 are consistent with Keefover’s prior
testimony, but paragraphs 5 and 6 are not. Keefover previously testified that Anna Robertson did
not give any other specifics of her resignation. However, in paragraphs 5 and 6, Keefover gives
additional specifics. Defendants’ Motion to Strike paragraphs 3 and 4 is DENIED and Defendants’
Motion to Strike paragraphs 5 and 6 of Keefover’s Declaration is GRANTED.
Defendants maintain that in paragraph 11, People Source learned through discovery that
Will Source executed a Service Agreement with Petrin on March 13, 2019, and by this testimony,
attempts to certify and/or authenticate the Petrin Service Agreement which is not within her
personal knowledge. Defendants further seek to strike the Petrin Service Agreement, which is
attached as Exhibit 2 in her Declaration and is attached as Doc. No. 100-9 to People Source’s
People Source argues that the Petrin Service Agreement can be authenticated in other ways
and that Defendants do not deny the agreement is authentic.
The Agreement may be authenticated in other ways at trial, but Courtney Keefover cannot
authenticate it.5 Therefore, the Petrin Service Agreement will not be considered by the Court in
opposing Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgement. The Motion to Strike paragraph 11 of
Keefover’s Declaration is GRANTED and Exhibit 2 of Keefover’s Declaration is also struck. Doc.
No. 100-9 will be considered by the Court as it can be admissible at trial, if authenticated.
In paragraphs 13 and 14 of Keefover’s Declaration, Keefover discusses a text message she
received from Shauna Bradley on March 15, 2019 [Doc. No. 100-10]. This can be authenticated
by Keefover and/or Shauna Bradly at trial, so the Motion to Strike paragraphs 13-14 and Doc. No.
100-10 is DENIED.
Defendants’ also move to strike paragraph 15 of Keefover’s Declaration in which she stated
that Shauna and Anna had taken Kent Cupia to lunch to discuss the opening of Will Source.
Defendants’ objection is that there is no foundation to determine how Keefover obtained this
information. There is no way to tell whether it was within her personal knowledge or not.
Therefore, this Court will consider paragraph 15 and will DENY Defendants’ Motion to Strike
The Motion to Strike paragraphs 17-19 is DENIED because those paragraphs are relevant
to some of People Source’s claims.
5. Declaration of Emmett Reeves
Defendants move to strike the Declaration of Emmett Reeves and the attachment thereto
[Doc. No. 100-11] because Reeves was not identified as a witness in People Source’s Rule 26
disclosures, preliminary witness list, answers to interrogatories, or supplemental discovery
People Source has listed no witnesses who can authenticate this document at trial.
People Source maintains that it notified Defendants that Emmett Reeves could serves as a
potential witness on March 3, 2021 [Doc. No. 108-1] and supplemental discovery on March 10,
2021 [Doc. No. 108-2].
The discovery deadline in this case was January 25, 2021 [Doc. No. 88]. Although People
Source did notify Defendants of the existence of Emmett Reeves and the check receipt on March
3 and March 10, 2021; it was after the discovery deadline. Allen v. Royal Trucking Co., 2020 WL
6435280 (W.D. La. Nov. 2, 2020).
Defendant’s Motion to Strike the Declaration of Emmett Reeves and the attachment [Doc.
No. 100-11] is GRANTED.
Now, the Court will address the Motion for Summary Judgement.
B. MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGEMENT
1. Summary Judgement
Summary judgment shall [be] grant[ed] … if the movant shows that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact, and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(a). A fact is “material” if proof of its existence or nonexistence would affect the outcome
of the lawsuit under applicable law in this case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
248 (1986). A dispute about a material fact is genuine if the evidence is such that a reasonable fact
finder could render a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id.
If the moving party can meet the initial burden, the burden then shifts to the nonmoving
party to establish the existence of a genuine issue of material fact for trial. Norman v. Apache
Corp., 19 F.3d 1017, 1023 (5th Cir. 1994). The nonmoving party must show more than some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. V. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). In evaluating the evidence tendered by the parties, the Court
must accept the evidence of the nonmovant as credible and draw all justifiable inferences in its
2. Plaintiff’s Causes of Action
People’s Source has alleged the following causes of action against Anna, Wayne, Kathy,
and Will Source:6
(1st CA) Specific Performance (Kathy and Wayne)
(2nd CA) Breach of Contract (Kathy and Wayne)
(3rd CA) Louisiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act (all Defendants)
(4th CA) Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (all Defendants)
(5th CA) Unjust Enrichment (Anna)
(6th CA) Breach of Fiduciary Duty (Anna)
(7th CA) Defamation (all Defendants)
(8th CA) Conspiracy to Commit Fraud (all Defendants)
3. Specific Performance and Breach of Contract (1st and 2nd Causes of Action)
In People Source’s First Amended Complaint [Doc. No. 24], People Source alleges that
Wayne violated a consulting agreement with Williamson Consulting Group, L.L.C. (“WGC”),
alleging Wayne is a principal of WGC. Additionally, People Source alleges that Wayne committed
breach of contract of this same Consulting Agreement. However, on July 30, 2019 [Doc. No. 52],
a Report and Recommendation [Doc. No. 35] was adopted by the court, and the claims against
Wayne for specific performance and breach of contract were dismissed. Therefore, neither of the
two claims remain against Wayne.
The causes of action against Shauna Bradley are discussed in her separate Motion for Summary Judgement.
People Source further alleges in its First Amended complaint that Kathy agreed not to
disclose any of People Source’s proprietary business information and she is liable for specific
performance and breach of contract. Specifically, People Source alleges that Kathy signed an
employment agreement [Doc. No. 24-10]. A review of that Employment Agreement shows it
became effective on February 1, 2016. It was previously determined at the Preliminary Injunction
hearing on July 24, 2019 that there was no Employment Agreement in effect when the alleged
actions took place in early 2019.
In her Affidavit, [Doc. No. 92-11], Kathy states that she did sign an Employment
Agreement with People Source which had a two-year period effective from the time she left her
employment with People Source. Kathy further verifies that her last day of employment with
People Source was on July 29, 2016. Therefore, the provisions of the Employment Agreement
would have expired on July 29, 2018, before any of the alleged actions took place.
Kathy also stated she never received a People Source Employee Handbook and never
signed any document acknowledging receipt of the People Source Employee Handbook.
In its Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgement [Doc. No. 100], People
Source set forth no evidence of any written contract signed by Kathy which prohibited the alleged
activity. Therefore, Wayne and Kathy are entitled to summary judgement on both causes of action.
4. Defamation (7th Cause of Action)
In its First Amended Complaint [Doc. No. 24], People Source alleges that Anna, Kathy,
Wayne, and Will Source committed defamation against People Source. Defendants maintain there
is no evidence against them to support this claim. In its Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for
Summary Judgement [Doc. No. 100], People Source does not brief this issue or provide any
evidence to support this cause of action.
To prove a claim of defamation, the plaintiff must prove defamatory words, publications,
falsity, malice, and injury. Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana v. Louisiana
Federation of Teachers, 981 So. 2d 242, 244 (La. App. 2nd Cir. 2008), writ denied, 992 So. 2d
928 (La. 2008).
People Source has provided no proof of defamation. Therefore, Anna, Kathy, Wayne, and
Will Source are entitled to summary judgement on this cause of action.
5. Unjust Enrichment (5th Cause of Action)
In People Source’s First Amended Complaint [Doc. No. 24], it alleges a cause of action
against Anna for unjust enrichment. Specifically, People Source alleges that Anna began
wrongfully withholding commission payments due to employees, which resulted in increased
bonuses for Anna.
Unjust enrichment is only a basis for recovery in the absence of any another viable remedy.
The remedy of unjust enrichment is subsidiary in nature and shall not be available if the law
provides another remedy. Walters v. Midsouth Record Mgmt., LLC, 38 So. 3d 243 (La. 2010).
People Source did not brief this issue or provide evidence to support it. Therefore, Anna is
entitled to summary judgement on this cause of action.
6. Louisiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act (3rd Cause of Action)
In its First Amended Complaint [Doc. No. 24], People Source alleges that Anna, Kathy,
Wayne, and Will Source violated the Louisiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act (La. R.S. 51:1431, et
seq) (“LUTSA”) by appropriating confidential and proprietary business information and using it
for their own benefit and/or for the benefit of Will Source.
A claim under LUTSA requires that the plaintiff establish (1) a trade secret existed, and (2)
the trade secret was misappropriated by an employee. Innovative Manpower Solutions, LLC v.
Ironman Staffing, LLC, 929 F. Supp. 2d 597 (W.D. La. 2013). Additionally, courts have concluded
that a third element exists: (3) the receiving party wrongfully misappropriated the information to
the plaintiff’s detriment. Computer Management Assistance Co. v. Robert F. DeCastro, Inc., 220
F.3d 396 (5th Cir. 2000).
In opposing Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgement, People Source alleges that Anna
misappropriated People Source’s list of candidates on assignment with Petrin. People Source also
alleges the Petrin Agreement with Will Source shows this information was misappropriated.
However, as discussed earlier in this ruling, the Petrin Agreement cannot be authenticated by
Courtney Keefover and will not be considered by this Court for purposes of this motion. Therefore,
all People Source has proven is that Anna (while employed by them) emailed a list of people who
worked for Petrin from May 2018 to February 1, 2019 to Shauna Bradley and Sunni Lawson (who
were both also employed by People Source). This does not create a material issue of fact as to
In her Affidavit [Doc. No. 92-10], Anna stated that she only accessed Avionte and Outlook
databases maintained by People Source during her employment for the sole purpose of fulfilling
her job duties. She denied taking any confidential information from People Source and denied
using any of this information for the benefit of Will Source.
There is no evidence that Kathy, Wayne, or Will Source misappropriated People Source’s
confidential information and/or used it in their business. Kathy [Doc. No. 92-11], Wayne [Doc.
No. 92-12], and Anna [Doc. No. 92-10] all deny using any trade secrets or confidential information
from People Source. People Source presents no evidence to prove they did.
Therefore, summary judgement is granted in favor of Anna, Wayne, Kathy, and Will
Source as to this cause of action.
7. Breach of Fiduciary Duty (6th Cause of Action)
People Source alleges that Anna breached a fiduciary duty she owed to People Source. As
the People Source Regional Vice President for the Northwest Region, People Source alleges Anna
had a fiduciary duty to them.
An employee owes his employer a duty to be loyal and faithful to the employer’s interest
and business. The employee is duty-bound not to act in opposition to the interest of the employer.
However, this duty of allegiance does not rise to the level of a fiduciary duty unless the employee
is also an agent or mandatory of his employer. Innovative Manpower Solutions, LLC v. Ironman
Staffing, LLC, 929 F. Supp. 2d 597, 609 (W.D. La. 2013).
Innovative Manpower is analogous to the present case. The employee, Marcell (who was
hired as manager of Innovative’s facility), resigned on June 29, 2012. Marcell had signed an
Employment Agreement and received a copy of the Employee Handbook, which contained
language protecting Innovative’s confidential information and trade secrets.
Prior to his resignation on June 29, 2012, Marcell decided to leave Innovative. He then
registered Ironman Staffing, LLC with the Louisiana Secretary of State, registered the domain
name www.ironmanstaff.com, leased a building for Ironman, set up a bank account, and other
Innovative Manpower filed a complaint against Marcell and Ironman based on several
causes of action, including breach of fiduciary duty, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and
misappropriation of trade secrets. As to the breach of fiduciary duty claim, Innovative argued that
Marcell, as manager, was not an ordinary employee. The Court found that Innovative had not met
its burden of proving a likelihood of prevailing on the merits for breach of fiduciary duty.7
The LUTPA claim in this case will be discussed in the next section.
Likewise, Anna was not an agent or mandatory of People Source that owed a fiduciary
duty to the company. Anna was not an officer, director, or owner of People Source. Based on these
facts, Anna is entitled to summary judgement on this cause of action.
8. Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud (4th
and 8th Cause of Action)
These two causes of action will be discussed together because the alleged conspiracy to
commit fraud is the primary reason for People Source’s allegations that defendants Anna, Kathy,
Wayne, and Will Source violated the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (“LUTPA”). People
Source alleges that all the defendants conspired together to form a new entity, Will Source, and
conspired to take People Source’s employees and clients.
LUTPA (La. R.S. 51:1401, et seq) makes “unfair methods of competition and unfair or
deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce” unlawful. Newton v. Brenan,
166 So. 3d 285, 289 (La. App. 5th Cir. 2014). Acts that constitute unfair or deceptive practices are
not specifically defined in the statute and are instead determined by courts on a case-by-case basis.
Under LUTPA, conduct is considered unlawful when it involves fraud, misrepresentation,
deception, breach of fiduciary duty, or other unethical conduct. Creative Risk Controls, Inc. v.
Brechtel, 847 So. 2d 20, 24 (La. App. 5th Cir. 2003).
A conspiracy is addressed in Louisiana Civil Code Article 2324. The actionable element
in a claim is not the conspiracy, but rather the tort which the conspirators agree to perpetuate and
which they commit in whole or in part. The plaintiff must also establish that there was an
agreement as to the intended outcome or result. Butz v. Lynch, 710 So. 2d 1171 (La. App. 1st Cir.
1998). In this case, the alleged tort is fraud.
The statutory basis for fraud is set forth in Louisiana Civil Code Articles 1953 and 1954.
In order to succeed on a fraud claim, plaintiff must prove the following elements: (1) a
misrepresentation, suppression, or omission of true information; (2) the intent to obtain an unjust
advantage or to cause damage or inconvenience to another; and (3) the error induced by a
fraudulent act must relate to a circumstance substantially influencing the victim’s consent to the
contract. Grigsby & Associates, Inc. v. City of Shreveport, 294 F. Supp. 3d 529 (5th Cir. 2018).
People Source alleges that the conspiracy to commit fraud was the Defendants entering
into an agreement to transfer People Source’s Louisiana operations to Will Source and/or force
People Source to sell its Louisiana operations to Wayne at a discount.
Defendants argue there is no fraud because there was no misrepresentation or suppression
of the truth that substantially influenced People Source’s course of conduct. In People Source’s
Opposition, it did not contest that an element of fraud requires a misrepresentation or suppression
of the truth that substantially influenced People Source’s course of conduct.
It is not necessary to determine whether there are any issues of material fact of a conspiracy
because Defendants Anna, Kathy, Wayne, and Will Source are entitled to summary judgement on
the cause of action for conspiracy to commit fraud inasmuch as there was no fraud. There is a
missing element of the fraud claim because there was no misrepresentation nor suppression of the
truth by any of the Defendants that substantially influenced People Source’s course of conduct.
Therefore, the cause of action for conspiracy to commit fraud fails.
The only issue remaining is whether there is a material issue of fact that Anna, Kathy,
Wayne, or Will Source violated the LUTPA.
Wayne Williamson was a former owner of Snelling & Snelling Personal Franchise in
Monroe, Louisiana and 75 other Snelling & Snelling locations. He previously founded Willstaff,
Inc. d/b/a Willstaff Worldwide, which had 91 locations 37 states. Williamson Consulting Group
(“WCG”) entered into a Consulting Agreement with People Source after People Source acquired
Diversity One. Wayne never worked for People Source nor entered into any contracts with People
Wayne declared [Doc. No. 92-12] that he is involved in Will Source as Kathy Williamson’s
husband and Anna Robertson’s stepfather. He declared he never obtained or used People Source’s
confidential information in any way personally nor for Will Source. He further declared the forms
for Will Source came from Willstaff Worldwide, Snelling & Snelling, or Diversity One. He denied
having used any forms for Will Source that came from People Source.
Kathy Williamson is Wayne Williamson’s wife and Anna Robertson’s mother. She
declared [Doc. No. 92-11] that she is currently employed with Will Source and that she owns 100%
of Will Source. She further declared she previously worked for Snelling & Snelling, Willstaff
Worldwide, and Advantage Resourcing. She was previously President and sole owner of Diversity
One, Inc. On February 1, 2016, as Branch Manager, she signed an Employment Agreement with
People Source. Her last day of work for People Source was on July 29, 2016. So, the two-year
noncompete agreement in the Employment Agreement expired July 29, 2018.
Kathy denied using any of People Source’s confidential information for Will Source. All
the forms used by Will Source came from Snelling & Snelling and Willstaff Worldwide, not from
Anna Robertson is the daughter of Kathy and the stepdaughter of Wayne. She previously
worked for Snelling & Snelling, Willstaff Worldwide, and Advantage Resourcing.
She began employment with People Source on July 16, 2016. She never signed an
employment agreement with People Source or received the People Source Employee Handbook.
She denied ever accessing People Source’s Avionte and Outlook databases for anything other than
her job duties at People Source. She also denied taking or using any confidential information or
trade secrets from People Source.
Anna declared [Doc. No. 92-10] that in August of 2018, Arkansas territories were taken
from her, which reduced her compensation by $25,000.00 per year. In December of 2018, she was
told by People Source owner David Bozalis that he was attempting to sell the Nashville People
Source location, which would have further reduced her income. Due to these concerns, Anna
decided to resign from People Source.
She is now employed by Will Source and serves as President. She does not have an
ownership interest in Will Source. She resigned from People Source on March 15, 2019. She
denied taking any confidential information from People Source to be used at Will Source. All the
forms used at Will Source were prepared by Wayne and Kathy and did not come from People
Will Source, Inc. was registered on September 18, 2020 with the Louisiana Secretary of
State. The name of KB Will, a Delaware Corporation, was changed to Will Source, Inc. in
Delaware on January 30, 2019 [Doc. No. 100-13].
The evidence considered8 in People Source’s Opposition shows the following proof by
People Source to oppose Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgement:
David Bozalis’ Declaration [Doc. No. 100-3] stating that Anna Robertson, as area manager,
had access to all of People Source’s customer, employment, and financial information relating to
its customers and business in Louisiana.
After the ruling on the Motion to Strike
Courtney Keefover’s Declaration [Doc. No. 100-7] stating that Anna intended to resign
from People Source on February 1, 2019. On February 4, 2019, Anna sent an email to Keefover,
Shauna Bradley, and Sunni Lawson attaching a list of People Source’s temporary employment
candidates whose assignment at Petrin Corporation had ended between May 2018 and February 1,
2019. Keefover stated the spreadsheet mirrored the information and layout contained in People
Source’s Avionte base. Keefover further declared that Anna excluded all Petrin employment
candidates that had a negative reason input into the “EndReason” field.
Keefover further declared she received a text message from Shauna Bailey in a group chat
entitled “shut down pimps,” which included Keefover, Shauna Bradley, Anna, Sunni Lawson, and
Sarah Chestnut. A copy of the text was attached to the Declaration. The text message discussed
Kevin (who Keefover says is Kevin Cupia, Senior Manager at Graphic Packaging) writing them
to get with him next the week about a plan. Additionally, Keefover declared that Shauna Bradley
had been in negotiations with Graphic Packaging to get a Service Agreement signed with Will
Keefover also testified that after she resigned from People Source on March 15, 2019, she
went to Will Source’s office located at 1600 Stubbs Avenue, Monroe, LA. When Keefover arrived
at the Will Source office, Kathy and Wayne Williamson were present. After Wayne said a prayer,
Anna became emotional and stated she was thankful that Wayne had put $1.2 million dollars into
Will Source to get the company off the ground.
In Scott Albritton’s Declaration [Doc. No. 100-6], he stated he first learned that Anna
Robertson intended to resign from People Source on March 11, 2019. Anna approached his desk
and told him that a new company, Will Source, had been formed. Anna stated she would be
resigning from her employment with People Source on March 15, 2019, in order to become the
acting President of Will Source.
Anna asked Albritton to come to work for Will Source. Albritton declared that Anna told
him many of People Source’s customers had already been contacted and informed of the creation
of Will Source. Anna also told Albritton some of People Source’s customers had already signed
contracts and some of the customers that hadn’t yet signed a contract with Will Source would be
doing so the week of March 18, 2019.
Albritton further stated that Anna told him the rest of People Source’s current employees
would be engaging in a mass resignation on March 15, 2019, and that Albritton would be relieved
of his obligations under his non-compete agreement with People Source if he engaged in the mass
resignation. Albritton also declared that because all of People Source’s current employees would
be resigning and its customers moving to Will Source, David Bozalis would close People Source’s
Louisiana office and Albritton would be left without a job. Knowing this, Albritton agreed to
participate in the mass resignation on March 15, 2019.
Albritton further declared that on March 14, 2019, Shauna Bradley told him the plan to
form Will Source had been the topic of conversation between herself and Anna since the summer
Albritton further declared that he went to Wayne Williamson’s office on March 14, 2019
to discuss the move. Albritton stated Wayne told him that he “had David Bozalis right where he
wanted him.” Wayne also stated that because People Source’s customers and employees would
follow Anna, he would be able to force Bozalis to sell him the People Source offices and contents
for a discount. Albritton further declared that Anna confirmed that the mass resignation would
permit Wayne to buy back the Louisiana People Source locations for “pennies on the dollar.”
After he resigned from People Source on March 15, 2019, he and other People Source
employees went to Will Source’s office on Stubbs Avenue in Monroe. He said at that meeting,
after Wayne said a prayer, Anna became emotional and said she was thankful Wayne had put $1.2
million dollars into Will Source to get the company off the ground.
Under the LUTPA, the plaintiff must show the alleged conduct offends established public
policy, and is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous, or substantially injurious. Only
egregious actions involving elements of fraud, misrepresentation, deception, or other unethical
conduct are actionable. The range of prohibited practices under LUTPA are extremely narrow.
Cheramie Services, Inc. v. Shell Deepwater Production, Inc., 35 So. 3d 1053 (La. 2010).
In Turner v. Purina Mills, Inc., the Court stated LUTPA does not prohibit sound business
practices, the exercise of permissible business judgement, or appropriate free enterprise
transactions. Turner v. Purina Mills, Inc., 989 F.2d 1419 (5th Cir. 1993). The Court further stated
that businesses in Louisiana are still free to pursue profit even at the expense of competitors so
long as the means used are not egregious, and the intent to eliminate competition does not, by
itself, violate LUTPA. Id.
The following language by the Supreme Court of Louisiana in Cheramie is applicable to
the present situation:
LUTPA does not prohibit sound business practices, the exercise of permissible
business judgement, or appropriate free enterprise transactions. The statute does not
forbid a business to do what everyone knows a business must do: make money.
Businesses in Louisiana are still free to pursue profit, even at the expense of
competitors, so long as the means used are not egregious. Finally, the statute does
not provide an alternate remedy for simple breaches of contract. There is a great
deal of daylight between a breach of contract claim and the egregious behavior the
Furthermore, at-will employees are free to exercise their right to change
employment, even if they decide to work for a competitor of their former
employer…The spirit of free labor permits every person to better his condition if
he can lawfully do so…A corollary to this principle is the general rule denying the
liability of competitors who lure away at-will employees, in the absence of a
showing that the competitor had an unlawful or improper purpose or used unlawful
or improper means…The courts are concerned not only with the interest of
competing employers, but also with the employee’s interest; the interest of the
employee in his own mobility and betterment are deemed paramount to the
competitive interest of the employers, where neither the employee nor his new
employer has committed any illegal act accompanying the employment
change…Therefore, only egregious actions involving elements of fraud,
misrepresentation, deception, or other unethical conduct will be sanctioned based
Cheramie, 35 So. 3d at 1060.
In this case, there has been no evidence that any of the Defendants misappropriated or used
trade secrets or confidential information for the benefit of Will Source. Wayne did not work for
People Source and had no agreement with People Source prohibiting his activity. Kathy previously
worked for People Source and had an Employment Agreement with People Source, but the twoyear limitation in the agreement had expired. Anna worked for People Source but had no
Employment Agreement with them. Will Source was formed to compete with People Source, but
there is no legal prohibition against this.
There were no legal impediments to the Defendants’ actions. Although it is clear Anna was
involved in the planning of Will Source while she worked for People Source, she did not sign an
employment agreement from People Source restricting that. Anna was also not prohibited from
soliciting People Source employees to work for Will Source. Anna was an “at-will” employee who
could leave whenever she wanted to.
In the previously discussed case of Innovative Manpower Solutions, LLC v. Ironman
Staffing, LLC, Innovative Manpower also made a LUTPA claim against Ironman Staffing and
Marcell. Innovative Manpower Solutions, LLC v. Ironman Staffing, LLC, 929 F.Supp. 2d 597
(W.D. La. 3/7/2013). The evidence showed that Marcell created Ironman Staffing to compete
against Innovative Manpower while Marcell was still employed by Innovative Manpower. Id.
Innovative Manpower alleged Marcell and Ironman Staffing violated LUTPA by (1) setting
up a brand new competing company and then commencing operations in the same market at
Innovative Manpower; (2) using Innovative’s employees to assist in setting up a new company;
(3) terminating most of Innovative’s employees effective July 1, 2012, only to turn around and
rehire them as Ironman’s employees on July 2, 2012; (4) conducting negotiations with all of
Innovative’s arms-length customers amounting to about $9 million of annual revenue; (5)
interfering with and impairing Innovative’s Service Agreement with 100% of their arms-length
customers; (6) entering into competing Service Agreements with those customers; and (7) using a
mark virtually identical to Innovative’s.
The Court found that Marcell and/or Ironman Staffing’s actions did not violate LUTPA.
Similarly, this Court finds that even considering the evidence presented by People Source in
opposing Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgement, Defendants have not violated LUTPA.
Louisiana has a strong public policy interest against restricting competition. Defendants are
entitled to summary judgement on this claim.
For the reasons set forth herein, the Motion for Summary Judgement [Doc. No. 94] filed by
Anna, Kathy, Wayne, and Will Source is GRANTED.
MONROE, LOUISIANA, this 3rd day of June, 2021.
Terry A. Doughty
United States District Judge
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