Florida Appeals Court Awards Attorneys’ Fees in Lawsuit Over Non-Compete Agreement
On June 13th, 2018, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal released its decision in the case of Premier Compounding Pharmacy Inc, v. Eric Larson. The issue at stake in this proceeding revolved around whether or not attorneys’ fees would be awarded in relation to a lawsuit that was filed regarding the enforceability of a non-compete provision within an employment contract.
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami employment law attorneys have extensive experience handling the full range of legal issues related to non-compete agreements and other complex employment contracts. In this article, we analyze the decision in this case and explain the lesson that employees and companies can take away from it.
Case Analysis: Premier Compounding Pharmacy Inc, v. Eric Larson
Premier Compounding Pharmacy, a North Palm Beach-based company, sought an injunction against one of its former employees: Mr. Larson. The company filed for the injunction on the grounds that it believed that Mr. Larson violated the terms of his non-compete agreement. Premier Compounding prevailed in its initial claim. The company then also sought attorneys’ fees from the former pharmacist, alleging that the full terms of the non-compete clause entitled the employer to full compensation for any costs or fees that were related to a violation of the agreement.
At the initial hearing, Premier Compounding Pharmacy’s request for attorneys’ fees and legal costs was denied by the court. However, upon review, the Fourth District Court of Appeals overturned that decision. Now the decision has been reversed and remanded for reconsideration of the attorneys’ fees issue.
Before finalizing a non-compete contract, both employers and employees need to seek professional legal representation. Non-compete agreements are notoriously challenging. For employers, these agreements must be drafted in a narrow, well-tailored manner to ensure that they can be enforced under Florida state law. Courts look to overly-restrictive non-competes with considerable skepticism.
For Florida employees who sign non-compete agreements, it is important to consider any fee shifting provisions. As this case demonstrates, that aspect of the agreement can be upheld by a state court. In addition, workers must remember to make sure that they actually understand the full terms of the non-compete provision in their employment contract. If you are asked to sign a non-compete, you should work with an experienced Florida employment law attorney who can review the contract and negotiate a fair deal on your behalf.
Contact Our South Florida Employment Law Attorneys Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida employment law lawyers have deep experience negotiating, drafting, and reviewing non compete agreements. If you are considering signing non compete agreement or you are in a dispute regarding a non compete provision, we can help.
To set up your free employment law consultation, please contact our law firm today. With offices in West Palm Beach, Wellington and Miami, we represent clients in communities throughout South Florida, including in Miami Beach, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, Sunrise, and Aventura.