Representing Greenville, SC

(864) 233-4351

Horton Law Firm Blog Case Study Part 1: Stonhard v. Carolina Flooring

Case Study Part 1: Stonhard v. Carolina Flooring

When I think of non-competes, the case that comes to mind is Stonhard v. Carolina Flooring. The litigation lasted 2.5 years, which included twists and turns, peaks and valleys. Both sides spent more than a little money, although the Plaintiff easily outspent Defendant by a factor of 4 to 1. I represented the Defendants, and I came to regret having agreed to a flat fee. First, read the decision; it is fairly short and limited too some specific points of law.

Peak: We won our argument before the South Carolina Supreme Court 5-0, and defeated the enforceability of a non-compete.

Valley: My clients eventually settled for a significant sum of money. (The settlement was not confidential and is part of the public record).

Okay, so how do you pay a settlement if you win the case? We only won the claims based upon the non-compete, but there were claims related to breach of the duty of loyalty. This is the first moral of this case: Every employee has a duty of loyalty during employment relationship. The duty of loyalty is essentially a duty not to compete while employed. Competing during employment can lead to liability. Preparing to compete is permissible. What is competitive? What is preparation? The answer can cost six figures.

Still Have Questions? The best way we can serve you is by starting a conversation.

Speak to an Attorney