Bridgeport-based pharmaceutical AnMar International is suing its former senior vice president for breach of contract, alleging he stole business information, disparaged the company in conversations and failed to safeguard corporate documents.
Alan Pollard did not follow proper procedures developed during a company restructuring, the company claims, and accepted pay after violating terms of his contract. A lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court of Connecticut in New Haven.
Pollard joined Anmar in October 2014, soon after Cellmark USA acquired AnMar. From almost the beginning, the lawsuit alleges, Pollard was intent on running the sales division the way he wanted. The lawsuit alleges Pollard resisted directives to grow the company the way his contract had stated. The suit specifically cites that one of Pollard’s primary initiatives—which he allegedly did not implement—included focusing on new customers and business through the sale of new products to existing customers.
After Cellmark’s first year of owning AnMar, the company claims it discovered Pollard had not focused on generating those new businesses, which was the basis for his overall commission structure and AnMar’s general business plan.
Pollard worked for AnMar from his home in New Jersey, and his total compensation between 2015 and 2017 ranged from more than $450,000 annually to more than $570,000 annually, according to the lawsuit. A substantial portion of Pollard’s compensation, the lawsuit contends, was tied to AnMar’s gross profit.
Cellmark bills itself as a global resource network for entrepreneurs seeking business opportunities, international expansion and relationships for collaborative innovation. The company is represented by Littler Mendelson.
Company executives, including AnMar President Hugo Galletta, claim they met several times with Pollard regarding his performance and focusing on their business plan, to no avail.
In November 2017, the company claims, it issued a directive to Pollard, instructing him to refrain from disparaging the company internally and externally and noting he had failed to execute AnMar’s business plan adequately. Pollard was to focus his attention on developing new business and advising members of his sales team as needed.
The company said it gave Pollard a new title—adviser and new business developer—”underscoring the company’s insistence that he comply with this directive.”
Nearly three months after the directive was issued, Pollard “was continuing to resist the company’s directives and was not following through by meaningfully modifying his conduct,” the lawsuit states, adding that AnMar’s gross margins declined in 2017.
Galletta issued a “final warning notice,” and on Feb. 16, 2018, Pollard was placed on unpaid administrative leave pending further investigation. Pollard announced shortly thereafter that he was leaving the company, effective March 2.
AnMar claims Pollard transferred protected company information to his and his wife’s personal email accounts and electronic devices at his home. “In other words, he had moved an enormous quantity of company business information out of the company’s protected network into his personal network so that he could access the same data in his home on his personal network rather than from the company network,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit cites five counts: breach of contract; violation of duty of loyalty; misappropriation and conversion; breach of fiduciary duty; and unfair competition.
Among other things, the lawsuit seeks to conduct a forensic examination of Pollard’s personal accounts and devices to identify and recover protected information. The lawsuit also claims compensatory damages and a repayment of $96,681, which AnMar claims.
The company is represented by Stephen Rosenberg and Jedd Mendelson, both of Littler Mendelson. Rosenberg declined to comment Wednesday, and Mendelson did not respond to a request for comment. Pollard could not be reached.
The case will be heard by Judge Janet C. Hall.