Illinois Appellate Court grants Preliminary Injunction in Action to Enforce Non-Competition Clause in Employment Contract

While most businesses strive to maintain employee stability, the fact of the matter is that during the course of any company’s existence there will be a certain amount of turnover. In states like Illinois, many employers utilize employment contracts that contain non-compete clauses and other restrictive covenants to protect themselves when employees depart. In spite of these precautionary measures, disputes will often still occur, which is why our Aurora non-compete lawyers are always watching developments in this area of the law.

In Steam Sales Corp. v. Summers, Defendant Summers worked for Plaintiff soliciting and servicing customer accounts pursuant to a written employment agreement that contained both non-compete and liquidated damages clauses. The clauses were to be effective for two years after the cessation of Defendant’s employment with Plaintiff. Plaintiff had several exclusive relationships with manufacturers, which gave it access to information not available to its competitors that served as an advantage in the marketplace. Defendant had access to this information, and after working for Plaintiff for almost two years, he quit to form a competing company and subsequently obtained the business of two of Plaintiffs (now) former clients.

In response, Plaintiff filed suit for Defendant’s violation of the restrictive covenant contained in the employment agreement between the parties and demanded injunctive relief pursuant to the liquidated damages clause in the contract. The circuit court granted the preliminary injunction based upon the non-compete clause and enjoined Defendant from soliciting or selling any service or product similar or identical to Plaintiff’s. Defendant then filed an interlocutory appeal. The Appellate Court found that Plaintiff had not breached the parties’ contract and that the restrictive covenant was enforceable because it was reasonable in its geographic (Defendant’s sales territory when he worked for Plaintiff) and temporal scope and in its application.

Lubin Austermuehle is a full-service litigation firm based in Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois that focuses on handling many of the legal issues confronting businesses in today’s world. We represent both plaintiffs and defendants, and we have experience representing clients in matters ranging from actions to enforce restrictive covenants to trade secrets litigation. Our attorneys have over two and half decades of experience in business litigation and have won favorable verdicts in “bet the business” lawsuits. Lubin Austermuehle’s business lawyers can identify and understand the legal issues in a dispute, no matter how complex they may be. We will use our resources and knowledge to formulate a plan of action that will help further your interests, resolve your problems, and get you back to growing your business. Our focus with each client is to resolve the legal issues efficiently and with minimal costs, while still providing outstanding representation. If your business is being sued or you are seeking advice to stay out of court, call our Chicago business lawyers to discuss what Lubin Austermuehle can do for you. For a consultation, call 630-333-0333 or send us an email through our website.

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