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Valley Medical Specialists v. Farber

Arizona Supreme Court
982 P.2d 1277 (1999)


Facts

Dr. Steven Farber (defendant) went to work for Valley Medical Specialists (VMS) (plaintiff) and later became a partner. Farber signed an employment contract containing a restrictive covenant. The covenant forbade Farber from engaging in the practice of medicine within a five-mile radius of any VMS clinic for three years after termination. The total geographic area covered was 235 square miles. The contract contained a severance clause. Farber left VMS and started practicing medicine in violation of the covenant. VMS sued, seeking damages and an injunction barring Farber from practicing medicine in violation of the covenant. The trial court held that the covenant violated public policy and was unreasonably overbroad. VMS appealed, and the court of appeals reversed. The appellate court cited the severability clause and modified the covenant to limit its terms so that it could be enforced. Farber appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Feldman, J.)

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