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Irving Shipbuilding suing Davie shipyard

HALIFAX - Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding has added the Davie shipyard in Quebec as a defendant in its lawsuit against one of its former employees who it alleges took confidential company information.

Irving's statement of claim with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has been amended to include Davie, where Jared Newcombe now works as the chief operational officer after resigning from the Irving shipyard last April.

Irving alleges in its lawsuit that Newcombe took documents and electronic records that contain sensitive company information and gave some or all of that information to other Davie employees.

"Newcombe had no legitimate workplace need or purpose in relation to his downloading and/or copying of the misappropriated (Irving Shipbuilding) documents and information," the statement of claim alleges.

"Davie's conduct amounts to inducing Newcombe to breach his contractual duties toward (Irving Shipbuilding)."

In a statement of defence, Newcombe denies that he breached confidence and says the information wasn't proprietary because it was comprised of his work and taken from other industry sources.

"It was derived from templates and information (Irving Shipbuilding) personnel utilized from other industry sources," the document says.

"In the alternative, if the (Irving Shipbuilding) information is confidential, which is not admitted but denied, the defendant did not misuse the confidential information."

The allegations have not been proven in court.

Davie issued a statement categorically denying all of Irving's allegations.

"Davie intends to rigorously defend against these allegations," the company said. "Davie is confident that the court will find in its favour."

Irving and Davie, based in Levis, Que., were in the running for the federal government's $25-billion shipbuilding contract, a competition Irving won in October 2011. The deal will see Irving build Canada's next fleet of navy warships.

Construction of Arctic offshore patrol ships is expected to begin next year.

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