Fay v. Total Quality Logistics, LLC

419 S.C. 622 (2017)

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Fay v. Total Quality Logistics, LLC

South Carolina Court of Appeals
419 S.C. 622 (2017)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

From December 2012 until June 2013, Joshua Fay (plaintiff) worked for Total Quality Logistics, LLC (TQL) (defendant). TQL provided truck transportation and related logistics and brokerage services. Fay was employed as a sales-account executive. As an employment condition, Fay signed a noncompete, confidentiality, and nonsolicitation agreement (the agreement). The agreement contained provisions that prohibited the disclosure of confidential information, which was broadly defined to include all information disclosed to Fay during employment, all manner of policies and procedures, customer information, pricing and marketing information, and terms of business dealings. The nondisclosure provisions purported to be binding “at all times,” and if Fay worked in a similar position for a competing business, it was presumed that disclosure of confidential information would “necessarily and inevitably result.” After Fay’s termination, Fay worked for a competing business as a sales agent. TQL threatened to pursue legal action against Fay for violating the agreement. Fay preemptively sued TQL, seeking a declaratory judgment that the agreement was unenforceable. Fay argued that the agreement would effectively prevent him from working in the truck-shipping industry throughout the United States. TQL responded that the agreement was valid because Fay could still work in some capacity based on using his general skills and knowledge obtained from his employment at TQL. The court upheld the agreement and entered summary judgment for TQL. Fay appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)

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