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Wausau Med. Ctr., S.C. v. Asplund - 182 Wis. 2d 274, 514 N.W.2d 34 (Ct. App. 1994)

Rule:

An employer is not entitled to be protected against legitimate and ordinary competition of the type a stranger could give. There must be some additional special facts and circumstances which render the restrictive covenant reasonably necessary for the protection of the employer's business.

Facts:

Plaintiff Wausau Medical Center brought an injunction suit against defendants, Dr. Mark W. Asplund and his professional corporation, for practicing medicine. Defendants entered into a contract of employment with plaintiff Wausau with a non-compete covenant of two years after employment. Plaintiff Wausau alleged that the defendants violated the restrictive covenant, but the circuit court dismissed the complaint, holding that defendants did not breach the covenants of good faith and fair dealing. Plaintiff Wausau appealed.

Issue:

Is the restrictive covenant in defendants’ contract of employment reasonably necessary for the protection of plaintiff employer?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The state appellate court affirmed, holding that plaintiff Wausau's restrictive covenants were suspect and must be closely scrutinized to pass legal muster as being reasonable. Plaintiff failed to prove that the covenant was reasonably necessary nor did it prove that defendants breached a claim of good faith and fair dealing when defendants terminated the contract because defendants were allowed to do so under the contract.

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