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Contract Disputes: Life Time Fitness sues for breach of contract

Individuals in Texas who are in high ranking positions within their companies must exercise caution if they decide to leave their employment and have signed a non-compete agreement. Contract disputes still may occur even if the departed employees are adamant that they are adhering to their agreements in good faith. Life Time Fitness has recently filed a federal lawsuit in Texas against its former vice president, his wife and their new business -- ReNew You LLC -- for breaching a non-compete agreement.

In 2010, the former regional vice president sold Family Fitness Wellness and Sports to Life Time for over $5 million. He allegedly signed a non-compete agreement and then was placed in charge of a number of locations in several states. According to Life Time, he was with the company until he was terminated for breaking his contract. His wife also worked for Life Time off and on and eventually became a regional manager before she quit.

Life Time claims that the defendants built their new business on the back of the company's hard work. Allegedly the couple stole Life Time's business model and financial statements to create ReNew You. Additionally, they are being accused of stealing confidential information and resources as well as Life Time's employees. ReNew You is reportedly too close for comfort as it is not even four miles away from Life Time's Houston City Centre club.

The plaintiff has filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to effectively cause defendants to cease and desist. Life Time is also asking the court for the salary the former regional vice president earned for the time that he was working there, but focusing his efforts on his own new business. Life Time has accused him of violating the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act as well as breach of the non-compete contract. The former vice president has asserted that he is in compliance with the agreement and does not intend to violate what he signed. Contract disputes are not always avoidable, but the likelihood of a dispute is lessened when those involved allow an employment law attorney to negotiate and draft a contract designed to fully protect the client's personal and professional interests.

Source: clubindustry.com, "Life Time Fitness Files Lawsuit Against Former Regional Vice President", Eric Stromgren, Jan. 25, 2016

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