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Former VP Stole Our Business, Louisiana Construction Company Says in Lawsuit

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Former VP Stole Our Business, Louisiana Construction Company Says in Lawsuit

A Louisiana construction company filed a lawsuit against a former employee after he allegedly siphoned off the company’s business for his father’s rival company.

In the lawsuit, Baton Rouge-based construction company Coastal Bridge LLC accuses its former vice president, Devon Overall, of “breaching his fiduciary duty” to the company.

Coastal Bridge filed the lawsuit in December 2020 in the 18th Judicial District Court of Iberville Parish.

Coastal Bridge is demanding damages for Overall’s actions, which include “lost profits, equipment rental and depreciation, and for essentially driving Coastal Bridge out of business it had enjoyed at least from the 1980′s,” the lawsuit said.

The trouble began in early 2019, when the lawsuit alleges that Overall began negotiations with his father to purchase Coastal Contractors Inc., a rival business to Coastal Bridge, where Overall also continued to work.

As Coastal Bridge’s vice president of the Marine/Structures Division, it was Overall’s job to handle the land lease for Plaquemine Yard, a crucial part of the company’s ability to do business. Instead of renewing the lease for Coastal Bridge, however, he moved the lease to Coastal Contractors, the lawsuit said.

Overall contacted the owners of Plaquemine Yard, A. Wilbert’s Sons, and “made blatant misrepresentations” about Coastal Bridge, the lawsuit said.

By April 2019, Overall signed a new lease with Wilbert’s Sons in favor of Coastal Contractors for the Plaquemine Yard, the lawsuit said.

“Overall touted Wilbert’s long-standing relationship as being with the Overalls as opposed to Coastal Bridge and that the Overalls were now operating as Coastal Contractors doing bridge construction work,” the lawsuit said. “He further represented that Coastal Bridge had been purchased by an employee in the road division and that all parties had agreed that Coastal Contractors would take over the bridge division and Coastal Bridge would continue with the road division. This statement by Overall is false.”

Overall didn’t stop with stealing the lease, the lawsuit said. He then began “a campaign to divert business from Coastal Bridge to Coastal Contractors,” the lawsuit said. He also coerced two Coastal Bridge clients to hire Coastal Contractors instead of Coastal Bridge, according to the lawsuit.

“He used his Coastal Bridge position (email, letterhead, etc.) when it suited him and switched to his Coastal Contractors’ position when that became advantageous,” the lawsuit said.

Overall made “blatant misrepresentations” to clients in order to steal them from Coastal Bridge, the lawsuit said. Overall also stole work directly from the company, including $6,000 that he invoiced for Coastal Contractors.

The lawsuit includes an email to one of Coastal Bridge’s clients, Mammoet. Overall signed the email as “Devon Overall, CEO/President of Coastal Contractors Inc.,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit alleges that Overall also repeatedly lied to Coastal Bridge employees to conceal his actions.

When an employee inquired about unapproved work at Plaquemine Yard for a client called Shintech, Overall denied any knowledge of it, the lawsuit said.

“Of course, Overall knew exactly who it was because he had recently completed a job for Mammoet at the Plaquemine Yard on behalf of Coastal Contractors,” the lawsuit said.

In January 2020, Coastal Bridge President Kelly Sills discovered that the lease for the Plaquemine Yard had been given to Coastal Contractors.

Sills and his company Coastal Bridge want Overall to pay damages for his actions.

“Coastal Bridge is further entitled to have Coastal Contractors and Overall facilitate the assignment of its current Lease for the Plaquemine Yard to Coastal Bridge with Wilbert’s written consent,” the lawsuit said. “Overall was responsible for renewing the Lease for Coastal Bridge and never should have let it lapse.”

The company also said in the lawsuit that it’s still investigating Overall and will add new allegations if it discovers additional wrongdoing from Overall.

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