Noncompetition agrmts between physician and medical practice group not per se void as against public policy and are enforceable to the extent they are reasonable

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Boehm, Justice.
We hold that noncompetition agreements between a physician and a medical practice group are not per se void as against public policy and are enforceable to the extent they are reasonable. To be geographically reasonable, the agreement may restrict only that area in which the physician developed patient relationships using the practice group’s resources.
Conclusion (slip op. at 13):  The trial court’s order denying CIP a preliminary injunction is affirmed except as to Marion, Tippecanoe, and Howard counties, and this case is remanded to the trial court for disposition of CIP’s remaining claims.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 11, 13):  The relatively minor issues Krueger raises are not sufficient to deprive CIP altogether of the right to enforce the noncompetition agreement . . . Injunctive relief is not available where the breach can be adequately satisfied by money damages . . . if CIP is not granted injunctive relief, it is denied the benefit of its agreement. We think this balance tips in favor of enforcing the agreement by injunctive relief . . . Because physician noncompetition covenants are not per se unenforceable and because CIP looked after the needs of its patients, a preliminary injunction would not have disserved the public interest.

Sullivan and Rucker, JJ., concurring. 

Shepard, C.J., dissents with separate opinion in which Dickson, J., joins:  . . . that a county line divides these two locations means very little to most customers or purveyors of service, and I wouldn’t regard it as grounds for a court voiding a contract by which two relatively sophisticated parties ordered their commercial relationship.

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Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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