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Fullerton Lumber Co. v. Torborg

Supreme Court of Wisconsin
70 N.W.2d 585 (1955)


Fullerton Lumber Company (Fullerton Lumber) (plaintiff) is a Minnesota corporation that operates retail lumber yards in Wisconsin. Albert C. Torborg (defendant) began working for Fullerton Lumber as a manager in 1938. On April 5, 1946, Torborg signed an employment contract with Fullerton Lumber to manage a lumber yard in Clintonville, Wisconsin. The contract included a restraint-of-trade provision that prevented Torborg from working in a similar enterprise within a 15-mile radius of the Clintonville location for 10 years after leaving his employment. In November 1953, Torborg quit in order to open his own lumber yard in the same city. Three Fullerton Lumber employees went to work at Torborg’s lumber yard. Fullerton Lumber sued Torborg to enjoin him from operating his lumber yard pursuant to the restraint-of-trade provision. The trial court ruled that the restraint as to time was unreasonably long and not reasonably necessary to fairly protect Fullerton Lumber’s business. The trial court accordingly dismissed Fullerton Lumber’s complaint.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Martin, J.)

Dissent (Gehl, J.)

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