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Rubbermaid Sues Fisher-Price Over Hiring

August 15, 1997|(Bloomberg News)

Rubbermaid Inc.'s Little Tikes Co. is suing Mattel Inc.'s Fisher-Price Inc., accusing the rival toy maker of hiring away executives to steal its trade secrets. The suit, filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Summit County, Ohio, also accuses two former Little Tikes vice presidents, Kevin Aker and Kevin Curran, of violating nondisclosure agreements with the Hudson, Ohio-based maker of children's toys and outdoor play equipment. Little Tikes is seeking at least $75,000 in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages from Fisher-Price, Aker and Curran. It also seeks to bar the company from using any of its trade secrets and to bar Aker and Curran from working for its rivals, including El Segundo-based Mattel. Glenn Bozarth, a Mattel spokesman, declined to comment but said the movement of employees "is a regular occurrence in the toy industry." Mattel's stock rose 44 cents to close at $34.69. Stock of rubber and plastic good maker Rubbermaid rose 13 cents to close at $26. Both trade on the NYSE.

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