The biggest U.S. gasoline price surge in years is running out of steam just in time for the start of the summer driving season.Energyread more
Stocks rose on Friday, but notched weekly losses as investors worried the U.S.-China trade war is hurting economic growth.US Marketsread more
The combination of mounting recession fears, bets on a more cautious Fed and a regular uptick in market volatility could spell more losses.Marketsread more
The therapy, Zolgensma, is a one-time treatment for spinal muscular atrophy — a muscle-wasting disease and leading genetic cause of infant mortality, affecting 1 in every...Biotech and Pharmaceuticalsread more
SpaceX has raised just over $1 billion in financing since the beginning of the year.Investing in Spaceread more
An analyst for Ark Invest, which has a major investment in Tesla, says recent drastic price-target cuts by others on Wall Street are missing the big picture.Investingread more
Former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson is seen as the bookmaker's favorite to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.Europe Politicsread more
Apple bought Tueo Health, which was developing tech to help parents monitor asthma symptoms in children, using a mobile app and commercial breathing sensors.Technologyread more
United Airlines will take its 14 Boeing 737 Max jets off its schedule for another month, through Aug. 3, canceling another 1,290 flights.Airlinesread more
Trade could be a big factor for markets in the week ahead, but investors will also be attuned to fresh inflation data and the bond market, which is flashing new worries about...Market Insiderread more
Mississippi is one of several states that have moved to pass new restrictions on abortion this year.Politicsread more
Health care giant UnitedHealth Group is suing one of its former executives for stealing trade secrets and taking them to a firm they consider a direct competitor — Amazon's new health venture with Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase.
United's Optum unit is suing former information technology executive David Smith for breach of contract in Massachusetts District court. In the 18 months leading up to his resignation, Smith played a key role in reviewing Optum's strategy, and was "on of fewer than 50 people at the company" who had access to Optum's detailed profit and loss statements for the entire company.
The lawsuit, which was filed last week and first reported by Stat, maintains that Smith's new position with the new venture "poses a direct threat to Optum's trade secrets and other confidential information."
According to the lawsuit, while Smith was interviewing for the new venture nicknamed ABC for the three firms' initials, he attended strategy meetings at United and sought out confidential information from employees who did not directly work for his unit.
"On the same day that he talked with ABC, and just one minute before printing his resume, Smith printed an Optum document marked 'Confidential' that contains, among other things, Optum's highly confidential information including an in-depth market analysis of the healthcare industry," according the complaint, and that he continued to print confidential documents through his last days at the company.
Optum attorneys spent the last month in talks with counsel for the Amazon-Berkshire-JP Morgan venture to delay Smith's start with the firm, and filed for an injunction last week after those efforts stalled.
Attorneys for Smith filed a response to the suit Tuesday, arguing that Smith is not working in a competitive role, adding "ABC offers no products or services to the general market, is not profit-seeking, and does not compete for any business with Optum. The crux of a non-compete restriction is actual competition. Here, there is none."
They say that Smith had contacted the new venture's CEO Atul Gawande via email last summer about working for the new venture, and began interviewing with the firm in October. When he was offered a position last month, he expected to finish out at Optum until the end of the year.
Smith's attorneys maintain that the company is trying to paint him as a "bad actor," but they say two days after he told his supervisors at Optum that he had accepted another offer, he was escorted from his office and "left all Optum property behind."
Smith's lawyers argue that the new ABC venture is not a direct competitor to the insurance and health services giant. They say the real reason Optum is suing their client, is because of its fear of Amazon, saying "Optum had mistakenly confused Amazon initiatives that are not strategies or initiatives of ABC, which is a completely separate entity, and had feared that those initiatives were competitive with Optum."
In its lawsuit UnitedHealth clearly paints a potential threat from the new non-profit venture, at a time when large employers, government plans and consumers are looking for newer cost-cutting alternatives in health care.
The executive who interviewed Smith for the ABC job was chief operating officer Jack Stoddard, a former general manger for digital health for CNBC parent company Comcast and prior to that had served as an executive at Optum before it was acquired by UnitedHealth
A spokesperson for the still unnamed Amazon-Berkshire-Chase health venture declined to comment about the lawsuit.
A spokesperson for UnitedHealth said the firm would not comment on specific personnel matters, but added that company was committed to protecting its intellectual property.
"UnitedHealth Group is a leader in health care because our people have spent decades developing custom products and services … we are committed to protecting the hard work of our colleagues," said Matthew Stearns.
—By Bertha Coombs. Follow her on Twitter: @coombscnbc