NON-COMPETE AGREEMENTS - ROBERSON, ET AL. V. C.P. ALLEN CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.
In Roberson, et al. v. C.P. Allen Construction Co., Inc., [Ms. 2080537, Jan. 29, 2010] __ So. 3d. __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2010), Roberson, a sales rep for C.P. Allen, was employed under a contract that included a non-compete agreement. Upon his termination, Roberson was hired by Penhall Co., Inc. as a sales rep, in which capacity he violated the non-compete agreement. C.P. Allen promptly filed suit and obtained a judgment of $25,000 in "nominal damages" against Roberson and $25,000 against Penhall for tortious interference. Penhall did not appeal. Roberson appealed, arguing that C.P. Allen did not have a "protectable interest" and that the damages award was excessive. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision that C.P. Allen had a "protectable interest" in protecting and preserving customer relationships built and maintained by their sales representatives, but the Court reversed the judgment of $25,000 in nominal damages as excessive.