Enforcing Non-Compete Provision Does Not Give Rise to Business Tort

Verizon’s employee was warned that leaving to work elsewhere would trigger the provisions of a non-compete agreement that the employee had signed. The employee left. When the new employer refused to hire this individual until and unless his dispute with Verizon was resolved, he sued Verizon for tortious interference with prospective relations.

The First Department rejected that argument finding that Verizon’s actions were not malicious, a necessary element to prove this claim, that merely threatening litigation would not suffice otherwise, and there was nothing in the appellate record to establish that Verizon acted solely “out of a personal dislike” for its past employee.

Lucas v. Verizon Communications, Inc.

Contact Information