The owners of a business which teaches people to swim have won a High Court injunction barring one of its former employees from giving swimming lessons within a five-mile radius of the company’s premises.
The injunction was granted in favor of Limerick-based Swim Max Limited against Ricardo Rojas by Judge Conor Dignam on Friday afternoon.
The injunction prevents Mr Rojas, who has an address in Limerick City, from giving swimming lessons within a five-mile radius.
He left the company at the end of April, it seems.
It also bars him from using the company’s trade secrets and confidential information regarding training techniques or continuing to compete with Swim Max for the next few months.
The company, represented in the proceedings by Jack Nicholas Bl, claims that by teaching the lessons, Mr. Rojas breached the employment contract he signed when he started working with Swim Max.
The contract, the attorney said, contained a “restriction clause” or covenant that bars Swim Max employees from using its methods or coaching swimming in the specified geographic area for six months after leaving the company. ‘company.
The judge said he was happy to put in place an injunction, but only for a duration of three weeks.
Mr. Rojas was not present in court for the hearing.
The judge said that while he was satisfied that the defendant had been informed of the proceedings and knew that the action had been registered in court, he was only prepared to put in place an injunction for a short period.
The judge said the defendant can make any submissions he wishes regarding the order in the next court case.
In addition, Mr. Rojas was granted the freedom to ask the court to request the removal or modification of the order before the case returns to the Court.
In a sworn statement to the court seeking the order, company founder and owner Ms Diana Daly said Mr Rojas left in April but later discovered that he had given swimming lessons at another swimming pool in the Limerick area.
She said the company did not know exactly how many of its students left to be trained by Mr. Rojas. He breached the restraining covenant she requested and Swim Max fears he will suffer reputational damage if the injunction is not granted, she said.
Ms Daly, who is a former national swimming champion in her native Lithuania as well as a coach of elite and Olympic athletes, said she started the business, which she co-runs with her husband Jason Daly, nearly 15 years ago.
The company offers lessons for very young children through to adults, from its own facilities at the Delta Retail Park in Limerick and from other private swimming pools in the Limerick area.
She said that she has developed the company’s own unique programs and teaching curriculum for her students, and her services are very popular.
She said all of the company’s swim coaches are subject to a restrictive clause in their employment contract that prevents them from taking advantage of programs elsewhere.
Mr. Rojas, she said, joined the company in 2020 as a swimming instructor.
She said last March he told the company he was leaving to work for Uber because he “wanted to do something different.”
Ms Daly said last month she was made aware that Mr Rojas was teaching some clients of his business to swim in the swimming pool of a Limerick-area leisure centre.
She was very surprised. She said she and her husband had observed Mr Rojas giving a swimming lesson to the children at the centre.
She said they approached him and reminded him of the terms of his employment contract with Swim Max. She said that in response to Mr Rojas he said he was doing it “for a little extra money”.
She told him he had to stop, but said he responded with a smile on his face and said “What are you going to do? Take me to court?”
She said she told him she would have to take legal action if she had to and later sued. She added that there had been difficulties in notifying Mr. Rojas of the procedure.
Court documents had been served at the leisure center where he would teach and at his mother’s residence at Rossadrehid, Bansha in County Tipperary.