In March, Excel Sports Management initiated a lawsuit against its former employee Eric Eways and Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports Group based on allegations that Klutch Sports tortiously interfered with Eways’ employment agreement with Excel Sports and that Eways breached his employment contract. Excel Sports also expressed an interest in enjoining Klutch Sports from employing or otherwise engaging Eways while Eways’ non-compete was to be in effect.
At first, Excel’s attempt at a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent Eways from working with Klutch Sports was rejected. Excel then initiated an appeal and, on this date, the appellate court ruled in Excel Sports’ favor.
The newly issued order prohibits Eways from working for Klutch Sports and Klutch Sports Group from employing Eways pending a hearing and determination of the appeal or October 15, whichever occurs first. The October 15 date was determined based on it being eight months from the date of Eways’ February 15 resignation from Excel Sports and the eight months non-compete language found in his prior Excel Sports employment agreement.
This decision is crucial, as it appears to rebuke the trial court’s prior decision that the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction were improper based on numerous grounds, including that tailoring the restrictive covenant to a finite list of competitors (such as Klutch Sports) reflected a punitive approach that could be used to invalidate the agreement.
Eways was hired by Klutch Sports to serve as its Head of Marketing. He will have to wait on serving in such a capacity for the time being.