Irving Shipbuilding is suing Davie Shipyard, its one-time rival for the federal shipbuilding contract.

The Halifax company alleges one of its former project managers took important information with him when he took a job with Quebec’s Davie Shipyard last spring.

Irving Shipbuilding first sued Jared Newcombe, a senior manager and an employee of 24 years, claiming he transferred confidential information to Davie and shared it internally with other employees. It added Davie as a defendant in the suit Monday. 

'It's a very serious matter and we're concerned.' - Ross Langley of Irving Shipbuilding

Irving says Newcombe used a portable USB drive to deliver information about its business practices.

Ross Langley, the vice-chairman of Irving Shipbuilding, described it as insider information that could hurt the Halifax shipyard when bidding on future work.

"It’s a very serious matter and we're concerned. Davie has our documents and they continue to have them despite telling us they don’t have our documents," he said.

“Evaluation of schedule and cost, how you are performing from a financial perspective, and lots of other sensitive information that we say should not be in the hands of our competitor.”

Davie denies accusations

Davie has denied the company received Irving documents.

Newcombe's statement of defence says the information wasn't commercially sensitive.

Davie did not respond to CBC’s requests for comment. It has a month to file a defence.

Irving wants the information back and is asking for damages.