In a June 1, 2011, decision by Justice Emerson, the court granted plaintiff-surgical group’s motion for a preliminary injunction with temporary restraining order enforcing a restrictive covenant in a physician’s employment agreement with defendant-doctors. Noting that “the interests of the employer have enjoyed solicitous consideration by the courts when the restrictive covenant is in an employment agreement between doctors,” the court found that the three-year, fifteen-mile restriction on the defendants’ practice was reasonable in time, geographic area, and scope. Because the geographic area in question was served by several hospitals, the court found that that enforcement of the restrictive covenant was not harmful to the public.  And considering plaintiff’s unquantifiable loss of its investment in hiring the defendants, its loss of their patients, and its loss of the goodwill associated with the practice, the court found that injunctive relief was appropriate. The court otherwise referred the matter to a hearing on defendants’ disputed contention regarding plaintiff’s unclean hands.

Peconic Surgical Group, P.C. v Cervone, Sup Ct, Suffolk County, June 1, 2011, Emerson, J., Index No. 7026/11