United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DUPFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants Viking Group, Inc.
(“Viking Group”) and Supply Network, Inc.'s
(“Supply Network”) (together,
“Defendants”) Motion to Transfer Venue .
a citizen of Georgia, was employed by Defendant Supply
Network. In 2009, he entered into an employment
agreement (“Employment Agreement”) with Viking
Group. ( at 22-27). The Employment Agreement has, in
paragraph 2, a section entitled “Noncompetition,
” which contains certain restrictive covenants
(“Restrictive Covenants”). The Restrictive
Covenants are stated below:
During the term of Employee's employment and for a period
of two (2) years after that employment ends, Employee will
not compete in any way with the business of the Company in
the Southeastern U.S. Sales Region. This area will include
the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee
and Texas. This promise not to compete includes, but is not
limited to, a promise that Employee will not engage in any of
the following activities:
a) Employee will not work with, for, or have any interest in,
any organization that competes with the Company.
b) Employee will not attempt to persuade any customer,
supplier, or potential customer or supplier of the Company
that they should not do business with the Company, should
reduce their purchases of the Company's products or
services, or should do business with a competitor of the
c) Employee will not sell or aid in the sale of any products
or services that are competitive with any services or
products of the Company to any customer or potential customer
of the Company.
d) Employee will not solicit, encourage or persuade any
employee of the Company to terminate their employment with
the Company or to take any action that adversely affects
their ability to carry out their employment duties with the
( at 25).
Employment Agreement provides that any dispute arising under
the agreement shall be filed in either Kent County Circuit
Court or the Western District of Michigan (“Forum
Selection Provision”). (Id. at 27). The
agreement provides further that it shall be governed by
Michigan law (“Choice of Law Provision”).
January 23, 2017, Plaintiff terminated his employment with
his employer and began working for Winsupply, Inc.
(“Winsupply”), a company that competes with
Viking Group in the sprinkler products business.
January 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint [1.1] in the
Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia (the “Georgia
Action”), seeking a declaratory judgment that the
Restrictive Covenants are not enforceable against him and do
not restrict his employment with Winsupply. It was not served
on Viking Group until January 26, 2017.
January 26, 2017, Defendant Viking Group filed a complaint in
the Circuit Court in Kent County, Michigan, alleging that
Plaintiff breached his employment agreement and seeking to
enforce the agreement against Plaintiff. See Viking Grp.,
Inc. v. Pickvet, No. 1:17-cv-103-PLM-PJG (W.D. Mich.
2017) (Dkt. No. 1.1) (“Michigan Action”). Viking