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04/15/88 Pcx Corporation, D/B/A Pc v. Rene Ross Et Al.

April 15, 1988

PCX CORPORATION, D/B/A PC DISTRIBUTING, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

RENE ROSS ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

522 N.E.2d 1333, 168 Ill. App. 3d 1047, 119 Ill. Dec. 474 1988.IL.545

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Robert L. Sklodowski, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SULLIVAN delivered the opinion of the court. PINCHAM and MURRAY, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SULLIVAN

This is an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 307(a)(1) (107 Ill. 2d R. 307(a)(1)) from the denial of a preliminary injunction to enforce a restrictive covenant in an employment contract.

Plaintiff PCx Corporation (PCx) filed a three-count complaint against defendants Rene Ross, a former employee, and Tech Data, Inc., Ross' current employer, for breach of a written noncompetition agreement, breach of fiduciary duties and tortious interference with the contract. In its petition for a temporary restraining order and subsequent motion for a preliminary injunction PCx sought to enjoin Ross from violating the provisions of the agreement.

As alleged in the complaint, PCx, located in Northbrook, Illinois, is engaged in the business of distributing wholesale computer hardware products throughout the United States under the name PC Distributing, Inc. On October 3, 1986, PCx and Ross entered into an employment agreement which provided, in pertinent part:

"[Paragraph] 6. Restrictive Covenant.

a. Upon the termination of Employee's services under this Agreement for any reason whatsoever, Employee shall not directly or indirectly . . . call on, solicit, or otherwise deal with any account or customer of the Employer with respect to any line of products or services represented by Employer at the time of termination. This restriction shall begin upon termination of Employee's services and continue for a period of twenty-four (24) months thereafter. . . .

b. Employee further acknowledges that the foregoing restrictions placed upon [her] are necessary and that in the event that [her] services for the Employer should terminate for any reason, [she] will be in a position to earn a livelihood without violating the foregoing restrictions, and that [it] has been made clear to [her] on behalf of the Employer that [her] ability to earn a livelihood without violating such restrictions is a material condition to the Employer entering into this Agreement.

7. Disclosure of Information.

a. Employee recognizes and acknowledges that all knowledge and information which [she] may acquire in the course of [her] relationship hereunder relating to the business, developments, activities, or products of the Employer or the business or financial affairs of any individual or firm doing business with the Employer, such as, but not limited to, customer and supplier lists, cost and selling prices for specific customers, customers' needs and requirements, confidential data regarding marketing sources and product designs, and other information, ideas, discoveries, creations, developments, improvements, designs and processes so acquired are the valuable property of the Employer and shall be held by the Employee in confidence and trust for the sole benefit of the Employer.

b. The Employee agrees not to disclose, divulge or publish, without the prior written consent of the Employer, either during the term of [her] employment or at any time subsequent thereto, knowledge of any confidential information concerning the Employer's business, developments, products or activities, or the business affairs of any ...


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