It's like déjà vu for the former CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., the Las Vegas-based casino operator.
After a Clark County court ruling, Dan Lee is free not only to compete against his former employer but to build a casino on the very spot in Louisiana where Pinnacle had not long ago planned to erect a casino.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, Pinnacle had initiated litigation against its former chief executive officer who left the company last year, claiming he violated a separation agreement.
Pinnacle said in its suit that Lee divulged confidential Pinnacle information to officials with the Port of Lake Charles in Louisiana.
Pinnacle had plans to build a second casino there, named Sugarcane Bay, next to its L'Auberge casino. Those plans were scuttled after Lee departed Pinnacle.
The Sun reports that Lee then went to the port with plans to develop on the same site a resort and casino to be called Mojito Pointe.
Clark County District Court Judge Kathleen Delaney denied Pinnacle's motion to stop Lee from proceeding with his plans and to prevent him from hiring away Pinnacle employees for the project.
Delaney ruled that the evidence presented thus far by Pinnacle doesn't warrant the issuance of the injunction the company is requesting.
The Sun reports that further litigation appears imminent: depositions and evidence are being gathered by both sides.
Delaney said the discovery process might yield information that the separation agreement has been broken. If so, she said, Pinnacle will have legal remedies available to it at that time.
Source: Las Vegas Sun: "Judge: Former gaming CEO can compete against previous employer": November 22, 2010