The former vice president of a Baton Rouge construction company is being sued for using his position to steal business and siphon it off to his father’s rival business, according to a lawsuit filed in a Louisiana district court.
The lawsuit, filed in the 18th Judicial Court of Iberville Parish in December 2020, alleges that Devon Overall, the vice president of the marine/structures division of Coastal Bridge, LLC, stole money and clients for his personal gain.
Over the course of 2019, Overall used his position to secretly undermine Coastal Bridge, which is now demanding damages for Overall’s behavior, the lawsuit alleges.
In early 2019, Devon Overall began negotiating with his father to purchase Coastal Contractors, Inc., a rival company to Coastal Bridge that Overall continued to work for while employed by Coastal Bridge, the lawsuit said.
“Coastal Bridge is entitled to all damages suffered as a result of this breach of fiduciary duty, including but not limited to lost profits, equipment rental and depreciation, and for essentially driving Coastal Bridge out of business it had enjoyed at least from the 1980’s at the Plaquemine Yard location,” the lawsuit said.
Plaquemine Yard is mentioned repeatedly in the lawsuit as a main source of contention between Coastal Bridge and Overall. It was Overall’s job to ensure that Coastal Bridge kept its lease with Plaquemine Yard, yet Overall used his position to convince the yard’s owners to give the lease to Coastal Contractors instead, the lawsuit said.
The owners of Plaquemine Yard, A. Wilbert’s Sons, signed a new lease agreement with Overall in April 2019 after Overall “made blatant representations” about the business at Coastal Bridge, according to the lawsuit.
Overall convinced A. Wilbert’s Sons that their relationship was really with his family instead of Coastal Bridge, and that the Overalls were doing bridge construction work as Coastal Contractors, the lawsuit said.
“He further represented that Coastal Bridge had been purchased by an employee in the road division and that all parties had agreed that Coastal Contractors would take over the bridge division and Coastal Bridge would continue with the road division,” the lawsuit said. “This statement by Overall is false.”
After stealing this crucial lease agreement from Coastal Bridge, Overall then began siphoning off business as well, convincing two clients of Coastal Bridge to hire his father’s company, Coastal Contractors, instead, the lawsuit said.
Overall would use his email address and letterhead from Coastal Bridge as well as his Coastal Contractors position to misrepresent himself to clients, the lawsuit said.
Coastal Bridge is also claiming that Overall stole work and profits directly from the company, and lists a $6,000 invoice for Coastal Bridge work that Overall stole for Coastal Contractors.
When a Coastal Bridge employee questioned Overall about unapproved work assignments that Overall had negotiated for the benefit of Coastal Contractors, he feigned ignorance in an email, the lawsuit said.
Overall’s email is included in the lawsuit:
“I have no clue who is hauling out of shintech but mammoet did call me a while back about bringing a load into shintech but Mitch [Ourso) shut it down as well as all other heavy hauls in Iberville parish.”
The truth is that “Overall knew exactly who it was because he had recently completed a job
for Mammoet at the Plaquemine Yard on behalf of Coastal Contractors,” the lawsuit said. “Overall’s response to Coastal Bridge was blatantly false.”The company is seeking damages, including court costs, witness fees, and legal interest.