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Torbett v. Wheeling Dollar Savings & Trust Co.

314 S.E.2d 166 (1984)

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Torbett v. Wheeling Dollar Savings & Trust Co.

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

314 S.E.2d 166 (1984)

Facts

After working for Wheeling Dollar Savings & Trust Co. (Wheeling) (defendant) for more than five years, Catherine Torbett (plaintiff) was promoted without a salary increase. The following month she was offered a job at another bank and told Wheeling she would leave unless she received a raise and an assistant. Wheeling agreed to the terms and asked her to sign a contract that included a covenant not to compete for two years. Four years later, Torbett quit and was offered employment with another bank provided she was not subject to the noncompetition covenant in her contract with Wheeling. Torbett filed a declaratory-judgment action to prevent Wheeling from enforcing the covenant. The trial court found that the covenant violated public policy and Torbett was entitled to damages for lost income. Affirming, the court of appeals held that the covenant was unenforceable because Wheeling was not seeking to protect a legitimate interest. Wheeling appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Harshbarger, J.)

Dissent (Neely, J.)

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