Monday, November 18, 2019

Preliminary Injunction Seeking to Preclude Doctor From Working Under Covenant Not To Compete Denied

In the case of Geisinger Clinic v. Michael J. Rogan, M.D., No. 2019-CV-433 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Nov. 7, 2019 Mazzoni, S.J.), the court denied the Plaintiff’s Petition for a Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin the Defendant doctor from practicing medicine within a 25 mile radius based upon a restrictive covenant contained in a practice agreement between the two parties.

The court reviewed the law of restrictive covenants in this and ruled that, while there was no ambiguity in the language of the contract, the court was also required to determine whether the enforcement of the restrictive covenant would compromise the ability of the public to obtain timely and adequate medical care.

The court ruled that enforcing the restrictive covenant would have prevented the public from timely access to healthcare with the Defendant doctor. The court also emphasized that the Defendant doctor was the only physician in the area who was board certified in child abuse pediatric, which experience was utilized by the Defendant as a Medical Director for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The court also noted that the Defendant doctor also provided medical services to special needs children at St. Joseph’s Center.

The court noted that precluding the Defendant doctor from serving either of those organizations in and of itself would be tantamount to depriving the communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania of a desperately needed service.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to the prevailing attorneys, Sal Cognetti, Jr., and attorney Sarah Lloyd of the Scranton law firm of Cognetti & Cimini for bringing this decision to my attention.

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