Georgia Court of Appeals Upholds Noncompete Clause in Physician Employment Contract

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently upheld the decision of a state trial court finding that Dr. Rami Azzouz and his firm, Bright Pediatrics PC, would have to abide by the noncompete provisions signed by Azzouz in his group practice employment contract with Prime Pediatrics PC (Prime). (Azzouz v. Prime Pediatrics PC, Ga. Ct. App., No A08A2340, March 12, 2009) In January 2004, Azzouz, a pediatrician, entered into the employment contract in question with Prime. In 2008, he announced his intention to leave the practice and formed Bright Pediatrics PC in the same town while still working for Prime. When Azzouz left Prime, he also took a record of all the patients he had cared for during his employment. Prime filed suit against Azzouz and his new firm, alleging breach of contract, and was granted an interlocutory injunction against Azzouz and his company by the trial court which found that the duration, geographic territory, and scope limitations on Azzouz’s employment were reasonable.

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