Warren Claims Win Against Davis, ZXP


Warren Oil Co. last week announced that it won a lawsuit against Edward Davis and two other former employees and their newly formed company, ZXP Technologies, enforcing through next May the noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements the three had signed while working for Warren. Davis said the suit was settled on terms both sides could live with and will have no effect on ZXP.

In January 2007, Davis, former vice president of finance at Warren Oil Co., Patric Elders, former president of Warren Unilube, and Steve Lipsey, former sales manager for Warren Industrial Lubricants, resigned their positions at Warren and, with three additional partners, acquired RhinoPak, a lubricant and chemical blender and packager in Highlands, Texas. They changed the name of the company to ZXP Technologies Ltd.

Warren Oil Co. immediately filed suit against the former employees to enforce the terms of the employee noncompetition, nonsolicitation and confidentiality agreements they had signed. ZXP was later added as a party to the suit.

The case was tried in May, and the agreements were found to be enforceable. According to Warren Oils announcement, the final judgment enjoins the three defendants and ZXP from competing with Warren Oil in the private label/generic oil business segment, the selling of private label and/or generic oil products of the type and nature sold by Warren Oil, and the soliciting or causing to be solicited any customer of Warren Oil for a period of one year ending May 8, 2008.

Asked about the timing of the announcement – that it appeared to be old news – Warren Oil Co. spokesman Larry Sanderson told Lube Report that the court did not approve the final settlement until late August.

ZXP President and CEO Davis told Lube Report that the judgment, issued in May, is pursuant to a negotiated and agreed-upon settlement, based on terms both parties could live with.

ZXP Technologies is a major toll blender and packager of premium mineral oil and synthetic-based lubricants, antifreeze and automotive chemicals, Davis said.Its customer base is comprised of the major marketers in the U.S.

It was a tough experience, Davis continued. But we dont market products. We dont have a brand. So it isnt going to have any effect on us.

Irvin Warren, president and CEO of Warren Oil Co., said, We are sorry that through no fault of our own, we were put in this unfortunate situation of having to use the courts to protect our assets; however we are excited and pleased with the judgment which we believe strongly reinforces our policies and procedures and justly protects our company and our employees, according to the companys Sept. 12 press release. Spokesman Sanderson declined to comment further on the case or its resolution.

Warren Oil Co., based in Dunn, N.C., has over $350 million in annual revenue and says it is the largest independent lubricant manufacturer in North America.

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