Entrepreneur/Actors/Writer/Producer Kevin L. Walker is headed back to court, this time against former employee Karina Noelle Castillo.
Public records at the Pasadena, CA courthouse show that Walker has filed a lawsuit for $10,000, stating Castillo materially breached her contract, by working for Walker for 2-3 months, stealing his company secrets and “secret sauce,” and setting up a clone business nearby.
Walker recently sued former employee Gianna Rose Ditullio, which resulted in the business closing doors and thousands being paid to Walker in damages.
Sources tell us Karina Noelle Castillo claims her mother started the business with some “unknown person,” and it wasn’t her and that she simply coincidentally works for the company, which her mother so-happens to own. She at one point even listed herself on the company’s website as a “co-founder.”
She has since altered her website and deleted the evidence however, that doesn’t eliminate the evidence from the internet, and it doesn’t resolve the the facts that prove all of Castillo’s actions of the business, from creation, to website purchase and launch, took place within immediate proximity of Castillo’s employment at, The Creation Station Studios.
In researching, the “Fire + Ice Creative Studios” was purchased on within the first 30 days (08/05/2019) of her employment being terminated with The Creation Station Studios on, approximately 07/11/2019.
The Creation Station Studios has been around as early as at least 2016, when it first used domain “www.thecstation.com” and they migrated to “www.thecreationstationstudios.com” in 2017.
It appears pretty clear what the outcome will be, given California does hold non-competes valid outside of the “employer-employee” context, per recent ruling by the California court of appeals.
Additionally, in Ixchel Pharma LLC v. Biogen, Inc., the district court ruled that section 16600 (which renders non-competes invalid in California pertaining to the employer-employee context), does not apply outside of the employer-employee context, and the court dismissed the case.
The total amount of damages, depends on damages that can be calculated, whether a liquidated damages clause exists, and a number of other factors, but it can easily be calculated.
In Cherne Indus., Inc. c. Ground & Associates, the plaintiff was awarded $49,322.72, when the defendant and former employe, started up their own similar company using trade secrets and client lists: seemingly identical to this situation.
$138,000 pursuant to a liquidated damages clause in a professional services firm (BDO Seidman v. Hirshberg); and
$25,000 pursuant to a liquidated damages clause in a clinic (Raymundo v. Hammond Clinic Ass’n).
The case is scheduled for a trial in March of 2020.