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Cook Sign Company v. Combs

Court of Appeals of Minnesota
2008 WL 3898267


Facts

Cook Sign Company (Cook) (plaintiff) was a North Dakota sign-manufacturing business. Cook purchased the assets of Art-N-Sign, a similar business located in Minnesota. During the acquisition, Cook offered employment to Daniel Combs (defendant), a long-time employee of Art-N-Sign. Combs signed an employment agreement that referenced, but did not contain, a one-year non-competition agreement. Cook offered Combs an income guarantee and signing bonus in exchange for signing the non-competition agreement. However, the parties did not discuss the details of the non-competition agreement before Combs accepted the job. The employment contract provided that any dispute would be governed by North Dakota law. The following month, Combs signed the non-competition agreement, which provided that any dispute would be governed by Minnesota law. Several months later, Combs resigned and accepted a job with another North Dakota sign company. Cook filed suit against Combs in Minnesota state court and obtained a temporary injunction enjoining Combs from working for the North Dakota company. Combs appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Connolly, J.)

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