By Mike Scarcella
(Reuters) – City scooter firm Lime sued Hertz Corp on Thursday alleging unfair competitors and accusing the rental automotive big of improperly hiring the startup’s senior engineers.
San Francisco-based Neutron Holdings Inc, which does enterprise as Lime, filed the lawsuit in California federal courtroom searching for unspecified financial damages and an injunction “to get better and defend its commerce secrets and techniques.”
It additionally named Charlie Fang, who beforehand was Lime’s head of engineering, and one other engineer as defendants. Lime claimed that Fang, who joined Hertz final yr as a senior vp, violated his employment settlement to not solicit former colleagues after leaving the corporate.
Hertz mentioned in a press release it “vehemently disagrees with the claims made within the lawsuit.” Fang didn’t instantly reply to a message searching for remark.
The lack of engineers has “considerably harmed” Lime, which offers short-term e-bike and scooter leases in about 30 international locations. The corporate mentioned within the lawsuit it now faces “employees shortages, recruiting prices, and important undertaking delays.”
Hertz sought to “capitalize” on Fang and his workforce’s data of constructing “back-end infrastructure for ride-sharing and client dealing with apps in order that it might achieve a aggressive benefit over different firms,” based on the criticism.
Hertz Corp, which operates the Hertz, Greenback and Thrifty automobile rental manufacturers, is a subsidiary of Hertz World Holdings Inc.
Lime’s former head of provide engineering, Kai Cong, was additionally named a defendant. Cong, now at Hertz, didn’t instantly reply on Friday to a message searching for remark.
The lawsuit claimed Cong improperly downloaded confidential Lime recordsdata earlier than his departure in December.
A consultant from Lime didn’t instantly reply to a message searching for remark.
Hertz has disputed that the non-solicitation agreements at subject within the case are enforceable, the lawsuit mentioned.
The case is Neutron Holdings Inc v Hertz Corp et al, U.S. District Court docket, Northern District of California, No. 3:23-cv-00934.
For plaintiff: Melvin Felton and Stephanie Jones-Nojima of Sanders Roberts
For defendants: No look but
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(Edited by Leigh Jones and Josie Kao)