A Special Kind of Stupid (Gwen Moritz Editor's Note)

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 12:00 am  

That's when J.B. Hunt tried to enforce a noncompete agreement by filing suit against Coombs in Benton County Circuit Court. Coombs fought back, filing a counterclaim charging the company, Allensworth and Emerson with, among other things, invasion of privacy, vicarious liability and outrage. J.B. Hunt's effort to enforce the noncompete was dismissed, and so were all of Coombs' complaints.

While the appeals court agreed that the incident didn't rise to the level of outrage, Judge Cliff Hoofman suggested that a jury might well agree that inviting numerous co-workers to gawk at Coombs in his hotel room was an invasion of privacy. What's more, a jury might also agree that J.B. Hunt had some liability because Allensworth and Emerson were "on the job" when they pulled their stunt. The appeals court sent those questions back to the circuit court.

Lesson Three: Noncompetes are really hard to enforce in the first place, and it was especially dumb to try it on a guy with a story like Coombs' to tell.

(Gwen Moritz is editor of Arkansas Business. Email her at GMoritz@ABPG.com.)



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