-The Court of Appeals for Summit County (Ohio) affirmed the trial court's summary judgment grant to appellee former employee after appellant former employer filed a complaint asserting that the former employee had breached a noncompetition agreement the parties had executed.
-The appellate court then certified to the state supreme court that a conflict existed between its ruling and those of other appellate courts.
-The former employer filed a complaint asserting that its former employee had breached a noncompetition agreement the parties had executed.
-The agreement, signed three years after he started working for the former employer, provided that he would abide by certain time and geographical restrictions in establishing a competing business after his employment terminated.
-The former employer claimed that his employment had terminated several years after the agreement was signed and that he thereafter violated the terms of it.
-The former employer sought money damages and an order prohibiting him from violating the noncompetition agreement.
-The former employee admitted he had signed the noncompetition agreement and that he had started a competing corporation following his termination; however, he asserted the agreement was unenforceable due to a lack of consideration.
The trial court agreed with the former employee and granted his summary judgment motion.
The appellate court affirmed.
The state supreme court found the former employer's forbearance from discharging him while he was employed by it served as consideration to support the noncompetition agreement.
OUTCOME: The appellate court's judgment that affirmed the trial court's summary judgment grant to the former employee was reversed and the case was remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.
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