09/22/2015 03:39 EDT | Updated 09/22/2016 05:12 EDT

CN Rail Accuses CP Rail Of Corporate Espionage In Lawsuit


TORONTO — A lawsuit launched by Canadian National Railway alleges a former employee shared confidential client information with rival Canadian Pacific, which then wooed business away in a made-in-Canada corporate espionage scheme.

CN's suit claims it lost rail freight business and market share after employee Greg Shnerer quit to join CP, and took along with him information that included customer contracts, pricing information and business plans.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Montreal-based CN (TSX:CNR) is seeking an order that would stop CP and its employees from using the information to drum up business from any of the clients involved, as well as $2 million in damages.

The clients were not named in the lawsuit. Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) has yet to file a statement of defence.

The two companies control most of the country's rail freight business.

In its statement of claim, CN alleges that a CP manager encouraged Shnerer to download confidential information from CN's electronic databases in June, while he was still employed there. The manager, Derek Ackford, also worked at CN until a year ago, and is now believed to be Shnerer's supervisor at CP, according the lawsuit.

"Shnerer acted in collaboration with Ackford to injure CN through unlawful means," the statement of claim alleges.