$2,000,000 Non-Compete Lawsuit Settled (2022)
In 2020, Brad Sneed was hired by a regional provider of appliance repair services. This company was named as a defendant in a noncompete lawsuit because it had hired a few technicians that had previously worked for the plaintiff--a competing appliance repair company. Three of the technicians were named as defendants in the lawsuit. Brad represented each of the technicians after determining there were no conflicts of interest. Plaintiff filed a second lawsuit against Brad's corporate client in Montana federal court, alleging similar noncompete violations. Plaintiff claimed to have suffered over $2,000,000 in business losses/damages due to the actions of defendants.
Each of the Idaho technicians had signed a noncompete agreement with plaintiff, but for various reasons they each claimed their agreements were unenforceable. All three technicians claimed plaintiff withheld their due and owing paychecks until they signed a new noncompete agreement, i.e., unlawful economic duress. In one or more instances, a technician claimed to have not worked for plaintiff in Idaho during the restricted time period and therefore the agreement could not be enforced.
In addition to the noncompete causes of action, the corporate plaintiff also alleged Brad's corporate client was actively infringing on a patent held by plaintiff with respect to an appliance testing unit. These claims were never made a part of the litigation, but plaintiff expressed an intent to file a separate lawsuit to enforce and protect its patent.
After nearly two years of contentious litigation and vast written discovery, as well as a vacated and reset trial, the parties met in Boise in the Fall of 2022 with their counsel, to attempt to reach a settlement agreement less than 6 weeks before trial. After several hours of face-to-face negotiations, the parties were able to reach a mutually satisfactory global settlement agreement, resolving all claims between all parties and providing for the plaintiff and defendant corporations to work together in certain capacities to aid both of their businesses--something that would have never been possible if the case were tried to a jury.