548 S.E.2d 207 (S.C. 2001), 25299, Poole v. Incentives Unlimited, Inc.

Docket Nº:25299.
Citation:548 S.E.2d 207, 345 S.C. 378
Party Name:345 S.C. 378 Carol C. POOLE, Respondent, v. INCENTIVES UNLIMITED, INC. d/b/a Dunlap Motivation and Travel, Petitioner, and Incentives Unlimited, Inc. d/b/a Dunlap Motivation and Travel, Third-Party Plaintiff, v. Northshore Travel, Inc., Third-Party Defendant.
Case Date:June 04, 2001
Court:Supreme Court of South Carolina
 
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Page 207

548 S.E.2d 207 (S.C. 2001)

345 S.C. 378

Carol C. POOLE, Respondent,

v.

INCENTIVES UNLIMITED, INC. d/b/a Dunlap Motivation and Travel, Petitioner, and Incentives Unlimited, Inc. d/b/a Dunlap Motivation and Travel, Third-Party Plaintiff,

v.

Northshore Travel, Inc., Third-Party Defendant.

No. 25299.

Supreme Court of South Carolina

June 4, 2001.

Heard April 5, 2001.

[345 S.C. 379] D. Garrison Hill, of Hill & Hill, L.L.C., of Greenville, for petitioner.

Chris B. Roberts, of Brown, Massey, Evans, McLeod & Haynsworth, P.A., of Greenville, for respondent.

Page 208

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS

TOAL, Chief Justice:

This Court granted Incentives Unlimited's d/b/a Dunlap Motivation and Travel's ("Incentives") petition for a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in Poole v. Incentives Unlimited, Inc., 338 S.C. 271, 525 S.E.2d 898 (Ct.App.1999).

FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Carol C. Poole ("Poole") began working as an at-will travel agent for Incentives in 1992. Three and a half years later, in April 1996, Incentives asked Poole to sign an "Employment Agreement" which consisted solely of a covenant not to compete. Poole alleges she was told she had to sign the agreement in order to remain employed. Incentives states in return for signing the covenant, Poole "received continued employment" with the company. Poole signed the Employment Agreement on April 30, 1996.

[345 S.C. 380] In November 1996, Poole left Incentives and began working for another travel agency. Incentives refused to transfer cruise bookings for Poole and five of her friends, causing them to re-book the cruise at an increased cost. Poole then sued Incentives to recover the increased costs. Incentives answered and counterclaimed, seeking an order temporarily enjoining Poole from violating the covenant not to compete and seeking damages for the alleged breach of the covenant. The trial court denied the request for a temporary injunction.

Subsequently, both parties moved for summary judgment, and these motions were heard before the trial judge in February 1998. The trial judge, by order dated March 3, 1998, granted summary judgment to Poole on the ground the covenant not to compete was unenforceable and invalid since: (1) it was not supported by consideration; and (2) it was not witnessed by a disinterested party as...

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