A recently passed Missouri bill included some amendments added at the last minute that may have significant implications for restrictive covenants—such as nonsolicitation and noninterference provisions—that are commonly used to protect legitimate business interests in the event of the purchase or sale of the business. The bill, which nominally applies
Restrictive Covenants (MO)
The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri has declined to enforce two employment agreements containing non-competition covenants because the employees who signed them had not contemporaneously assented to their assignment when their employer sold its assets to another company. Symphony Diagnostic Services No. 1, Inc. d/b/a MobileXUSA v. Greenbaum, No. 13-4196 (W.D. Mo. March 16, 2015). This case involved application of Missouri law pertaining to the assignability of non-competition agreements.
A Missouri employer failed in its attempt to enjoin a former employee from working for a competitor after a Missouri appeals court ruled his employment agreement was unenforceable as a matter of law. In Sigma-Aldrich Corp. v. Vikin, No. ED-100575, (Mo. Ct. App. Oct. 14, 2014), the Missouri Court of Appeals (Eastern District) upheld a St. Louis County trial judge’s ruling that a non-compete without a geographic restriction, that sought to protect information widely known to the public, was unenforceable.
Shawn Kee and Jessica Liss write on the Jackson Lewis website about two recent cases interpreting Missouri law on non-competes, Whelan Security v. Kennebrew, 379 S.W.3d 835 (Mo. 2012) and TLC Vision (USA) Corp. v. Freeman, 2012 WL 5398671 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 2, 2012).
The Missouri Supreme Court rarely entertains non-competition cases. In Health Care Services of the Ozarks, Inc. v. Copeland, 198 S.W.3d 604 (Mo. 2006), the court enforced a non-solicitation of customers and a true non-competition agreement.