23747 - STATE OF MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS A COMPLETE HOME...

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-1- S T A T E O F M I C H I G A N C O U R T O F A P P E A L S A COMPLETE HOME CARE AGENCY, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, UNPUBLISHED June 29, 2004 v No. 246280 Macomb Circuit Court THERESA GUTIERREZ and ATRIUM HOME AND HEALTH CARE SERVICES, INC., LC No. 02-001211-CK Defendants-Appellees. Before: Murphy, P.J., and Jansen and Cooper, JJ. PER CURIAM. Plaintiff A Complete Home Care Agency, Inc., appeals as of right the order granting defendants Theresa Gutierrez and Atrium Home and Health Care Services, Inc.’s (“Atrium”), motion for summary disposition regarding plaintiff’s claims of breach of covenant not to compete and tortious interference with contractual relations pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(10). We affirm. I. Facts Ms. Gutierrez began working for plaintiff in September of 2000, and additionally began working for Atrium on a part-time basis in July of 2001. As a condition of her employment with plaintiff, Ms. Gutierrez signed a covenant not to compete. 1 Through her work for plaintiff, Ms. 1 The covenant was part of plaintiff’s employment contracts and also appeared on employee time slips. It provided: I AGREE AND UNDERSTAND THAT I WILL NOT PERFORM ANY SERVICES FOR THE CLIENT DIRECTLY, OR INDIRECTLY, THROUGH ANOTHER AGENCY, INDIVIDUAL, ENTITY OTHER THAN “A COMPLETE HOME CARE” AGENCY, FOR A PERIOD OF SIX (6) MONTHS AFTER THE LAST DAY WORKED ON ANY OF YOUR ASSIGNMENTS. [Opinion and Order, January 9, 2003, p 3.] (continued…)
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-2- Gutierrez provided nursing services in the home of Michael Boyagian. Mr. Boyagian required twenty-four hour nursing care, which was provided by employees of both plaintiff and Atrium. In January of 2002, Ms. Gutierrez left the employ of plaintiff to work for Atrium on a full-time basis in order to secure health insurance. At that time, Ms. Gutierrez began providing nursing services in Mr. Boyagian’s home on a full-time basis in her capacity as an Atrium employee. Plaintiff brought the instant lawsuit against defendants alleging that Ms. Gutierrez breached the covenant not to compete and that Atrium interfered with its contractual relationship with Ms. Gutierrez. Plaintiff also contended that Atrium had interfered with its contractual relationship with its client, Mr. Boyagian. 2 The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary disposition of all of plaintiff’s claims. The trial court held that the covenant was too broad with regard to the type of employment restricted and was, therefore, unreasonable and invalid as a matter of law pursuant to MCL 445.774a. Plaintiff also failed to demonstrate wrongful conduct on the part of Atrium or conduct that was malicious and unjustified at law to support its claim of tortious interference. II. Legal Analysis We review a trial court’s determination regarding a motion for summary disposition de novo.
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  • Fall '10
  • LucyBenham
  • covenant, Trial court, Theresa Gutierrez, Ms. Gutierrez

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