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Hopper v. All Pet Animal Clinic

Wyoming Supreme Court
861 P.2d 531 (1993)


Facts

Dr. Glenna Hopper (Hopper) (defendant) worked for three years, following her education as a veterinarian, with her employer, All Pet Animal Clinic (All Pet) (plaintiff). During the course of that employment she executed a restrictive covenant wherein she agreed that upon termination of her employment at All Pet she would not practice small animal veterinarian medicine for a three-year period from the date of termination within five miles of the corporate limits of Laramie, Wyoming. After it appeared to the president of All Pet that Hopper was preparing to purchase and operate another local veterinarian practice, Hopper's employment was terminated. Hopper subsequently opened her own veterinarian practice. All Pet, together with Alpine Animal Clinic, Inc. (Alpine) (plaintiff), sought injunctive relief and damages. The trial commenced two years after Hopper had been discharged. The evidence at trial showed that over half of Hopper's gross income was derived from her small animal practice and that All Pet and Alpine lost 187 of their clients to Hopper's new practice. The evidence also showed that All Pet's and Alpine's clients were located throughout the county. The trial court granted an injunction, but declined to award damages to All Pet and Alpine as being too speculative. All of the parties appealed to the Supreme Court of Wyoming.

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Holding and Reasoning (Taylor, J.)

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Dissent (Cardine, J.)

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