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Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. v. Money

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

September 27, 2013

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS, INC., a Minnesota corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
JASON MONEY, Defendant

Courtland C. Merrill, ANTHONY OSTLUND BAER & LOUWAGIE P.A., for plaintiff.

Mark V. Steffenson, HENNINGSON & SNOXELL, LTD., for defendant.

OPINION

Page 1103

ORDER

Patrick J. Schiltz, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (" CSI" ) brings this action for breach of contract against a former employee, Jason Money, alleging that Money violated a non-solicitation provision in his employment agreement. This matter is before the Court on Money's motion for summary judgment. The motion is granted for the reasons explained below.

I. BACKGROUND

CSI is a Minnesota corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells orbital atherectomy products. In 2008, CSI employed Money as a district sales manager under a written employment agreement. Money Dep. 8-10. In 2010, Money signed an amendment to his employment agreement that included the following non-solicitation clause:

Employee agrees that at all times while employed by Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. [and] for one (1) year thereafter, Employee will not solicit, cause to be solicited, or participate in or promote the solicitation of any person to terminate that person's employment with Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. or to breach that person's employment agreement with Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.

Steffenson Aff. Ex. F ¶ 13.2.

Money's employment with CSI ended in December 2011. Money Dep. 25. In February 2012, Money became an independent sales representative for Natural Molecular Testing Corporation (" Natural Molecular" ), a provider of genetic-testing kits. Money Dep. 52. Natural Molecular is not a competitor of CSI. Flaherty Dep. 34; Gilbert Dep. 28.

CSI alleges that, after Money left CSI, Money solicited two CSI employees to sell Natural Molecular testing kits (while remaining employed by CSI). Neither of the employees agreed to sell the kits. But, CSI argues, if either of the employees had agreed to sell the kits, they would have violated ¶ 7 of CSI's standard employment agreement and ¶ 3.5 of CSI's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct (" Code of Ethics" ). Therefore, CSI contends, Money violated the non-solicitation clause in his contract by soliciting these

Page 1104

two CSI employees to breach their own employment ...


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