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Judge grants ASC's injunction against former physicians in non-compete case: 5 things to know

A district judge barred six physicians from ownership or affiliation with a Nebraska-based surgery center until the court decides whether the physicians violated non-compete agreements they had with an Iowa-based ASC, according to the Sioux City Journal.

1. Sioux City, Iowa-based Pierce Street Same Day Surgery filed suit against six former physician members, alleging they violated non-compete agreements by taking a role in the development of Sioux City-based Tri-State Specialists' Riverview Surgical Center, planned four miles away across the border in Nebraska. Pierce Street sought, and was granted, a temporary injunction against the physicians from participating in Riverview until their case goes to trial.

2. As a result of the injunction, the surgeons aren't able to directly or indirectly promote Riverview Surgical Center, or invest in the project. The judge stated current evidence "would likely lead a jury to find that the doctors violated their non-compete agreements."

3. However, the 28-page ruling didn't grant Pierce Street an injunction against Tri-State Specialists as a practice from continuing to construct Riverview, which is expected to open in spring of 2019.

4. The physicians involved in the case say they aren't investing in Riverview and don't have plans to do so, although they also argued in the past that the non-compete agreement would only apply to existing surgery centers, not creating new ones.

5. Tri-State Specialists and the former Pierce Street physicians named in the suit filed a counter lawsuit alleging Pierce Street wrongfully terminated the physicians' operating agreements and "interfered" in Riverview business.

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