Hagyard Veterinarians Released From Non-Compete; Clinic Ordered To Produce Privileged Documents

Three field care veterinarians at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute have been released from the non-compete agreements they signed as part of their employment as a civil suit between the vets and the clinic rages on.

Drs. Rocky Mason, Patrick Ford, and Kevin Smith brought suit against Hagyard and Mixed Animal Veterinary Associates of North America (MAVANA) last summer for what they say were breaches in promises related to a deal to become shareholders in the clinic. The veterinarians claim an impending merger with Las Vegas-based MAVANA caused existing shareholders to resist making purchase deals to maximize their own profits. Hagyard denies the claims.

Hon. John Reynolds, judge for the Fayette County Circuit Court, Third Division, ruled in late August that the non-compete agreements, which prevented the veterinarians from practicing in a specified list of Kentucky counties at the conclusion of their employment, were void. Reynolds cited previous cases establishing that a non-compete is a burden placed upon the employee, and is only enforceable when the employee receives a benefit to offset that burden.

Reynolds also ruled on a motion from the plaintiffs regarding attorney-client privileged documents Hagyard attorneys inadvertently disclosed to attorneys for the plaintiffs during discovery. According to court documents, plaintiff attorneys made five attempts to alert Hagyard’s attorneys of the documents so they could “claw back their privileged material.” After all five attempts were ignored, plaintiffs moved for an order that defendants had waived attorney-client and work product privileges.

Reynolds ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, ordering Hagyard attorneys to produce all materials related to the shareholder deals, the MAVANA merger and documents reflecting communication by and between Hagyard and their previous counsel at Stoll Keenon Ogden regarding the suit.

Reynolds has yet to rule on a dispute between the two sides regarding radiograph misdating. The plaintiffs claim a years-long practice of forward-dating sale radiographs by shareholding surgeons took away from their earnings, hurting their credentials to be offered shareholder deals. Hagyard claims the practice of misdating, which the clinic says was done to accommodate sale companies’ strict timeframes for their repositories, is irrelevant to the case at hand and shouldn’t be discussed in court.

A trial in the case is set for December.

The post Hagyard Veterinarians Released From Non-Compete; Clinic Ordered To Produce Privileged Documents appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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