Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Karpinski v. Ingrasci case brief

Karpinski v. Ingrasci case brief summary
268 N.E.2d 751 (1971)

Plaintiff employer appealed an order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Fourth Judicial Department (New York), which reversed a trial court judgment for the employer and which dismissed the complaint against defendant, a former employee, for breach of a noncompetition agreement.

The employee was a dentist who was employed by a dental practice. He signed a covenant not to compete. The employer's practice consisted solely of oral surgery. The covenant, however, restricted the employee from practicing both dentistry and oral surgery. When the employee left the practice and opened his own office, the employer sued to enforce the covenant.

The trial court gave judgment for the employer. The lower appellate court reversed, finding the restriction against practicing dentistry was too broad.


  • On further review, the court reversed the order of the lower appellate court, holding that an unreasonable restriction in the agreement should be severed and the remainder of the agreement given effect. 
  • The court held that the employer was entitled to an injunction barring the former employee from practicing oral surgery in the five specified counties named in the covenant and that it was also entitled to damages actually suffered while the former employee conducted his practice after leaving his employment.
The court reversed the decision.

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