Mark one down for the good guys! Dr. Thomas Fame began working for the Asthma and Allergy Center in Salem, Virginia in 2010, but was let go by that organization in May of 2015. After he was fired, the practice group argued that Dr. Fame’s contract imposed a two-year block on his ability to treat patients who resided within the 12 counties surrounding his office.
So what did Dr. Fame do? He began preparations to open his office within the restricted area, filed suit against his old employer, and asked the court to find the non-compete unenforceable…and he won.
Judge Charlie Dorsey ruled the non-compete contract was “overbroad,” and ordered a permanent injunction against the enforcement of the restrictions in the contract. The Judge did not find the two-year limitation in the contract unreasonable but found the geographic description of the area in question was ambiguously worded in a way that made it unenforceable. Most importantly, the Judge found the restrictions against Dr. Fame were “unreasonably oppressive because it severely hampers his ability to earn a livelihood.”
This is good news for all employees.