Former employees liable for damages and permanently enjoined
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (June 12, 2008) – Sombra Cosmetics Inc. (“Sombra”), based here and a manufacturer of a unique natural pain relieving gel sold under the brands Sombra® and Sore No More®, announced today that it won a lawsuit against two former employees, Michael Whalen and Roberto Gomez, and their company, Alivia Laboratories Inc. (“Alivia”) located in Los Lunas, New Mexico. The jury determined that Whalen, Gomez, and Alivia had violated the New Mexico Uniform Trade Secrets Act by committing willful and malicious misappropriation. The trade secrets in question included both the formula and manufacturing process used to make this highly effective gel.
Sombra was awarded compensatory and punitive damages, and the defendants were permanently enjoined and restrained from (1) selling their branded product; (2) making any product using the Sombra formula and process; or (3) disclosing the formula and process to any person or entity. Also permanently enjoined were Pedro Moreno Sr., owner of Southwest Respiratory, based here, and his son Pedro Moreno, Jr., both of which were identified during court proceedings as investors in Alivia.
“This finding reinforces my faith in the American judicial system”, stated Alfredo Cortazar, president of Sombra and a chemical engineer. “My many years of personal sacrifice developing and growing a market for this product will not be given away to these former trusted employees”, he added. Cortazar, who worked for years developing and refining the formula and process, immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico forty years ago to pursue the American dream, living many years in abject poverty before making a name for himself and his company. According to Sombra’s attorney, Charles A. Armgardt, of the Modrall Sperling firm based here: “Through this long three-year litigation process, Sombra has shown a strong will and determination to protect its trade secrets and vigorously pursue anyone who might try to misappropriate those secrets.”
The Sombra-brand natural pain relieving gel is used by and sold through professionals such as chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists. Sore No More is sold direct and through natural food stores.
About Sombra Cosmetics Inc.: Sombra, a privately held manufacturer of natural gels, lotions, cremes,
and cosmetics, is registered with the FDA and sells its products worldwide. The company also provides
private-label contract manufacturing services to a range of clients.
M. Fredrick Osborne, MBA
Chief Operating Officer
Sombra Cosmetics Inc.