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Rogers v. Runfola & Associates, Inc.

Ohio Supreme Court
565 N.E.2d 540 (1991)


Facts

Barbara Rogers and Nicholas Marrone (plaintiffs) worked as court reporters at Runfola & Associates, Inc. (Runfola) (defendant), which was owned by Thomas Runfola (defendant). Runfola was located in Columbus, Ohio in Franklin County. Rogers worked for Runfola as an at-will employee for a number of years while attending court-reporting school. Later, however, both Rogers and Marrone signed employment contracts with Runfola that included covenants not to compete. In these non-compete agreements, Rogers and Marrone agreed that they would not have any involvement in the court-reporting business within Franklin County for two years after leaving Runfola, and that they would never solicit business from Runfola clients. Nevertheless, after working at Runfola for more than a decade, Rogers and Marrone decided to leave and open their own court-reporting company. Rogers and Marrone sued Runfola, asking the court to declare that the covenants not to compete were unenforceable. Rogers and Marrone argued that there was insufficient consideration to support the covenants. Runfola, on the other hand, asked the court to enjoin Rogers and Marrone from violating the covenants. Runfola argued that damages could not be easily determined but were at least $100,000. The trial court ruled that the covenants were unenforceable. Runfola appealed. Rogers and Marrone continued to operate their business for two years before the case reached the Ohio Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)

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Concurrence/Dissent (Brown, J.)

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