Contracts are there to protect both parties’ interests, but they sometimes hurt more than they help. In certain cases, someone unhappy with a contract may take the other party to court.
That’s what happened in this Florida case involving former 21st Century Oncology oncologists. They sued in federal court to get out of a noncompete contract. The Florida Legislature is currently considering legislation that would eliminate those employment agreements for specialty doctors.
21st Century Oncology sees things very differently, claiming that this is just a way to avoid sticking to the contracts that the doctors themselves had negotiated for. Presently, the doctors suing state that the company has a monopoly and employs all the radiation oncologists in Charlotte, Collier and Lee counties, using restrictive contracts to prevent them from going to another company and competing with 21st Century Oncology. It has also been alleged that the company provides strong incentives for referrals so long as they’re sent to 21st Century Oncology. This may create a monopoly that unfairly locks out the competition and allows the company to charge high prices to provide radiation oncology treatments and services.
As you can see, contracts can have two sides. On one hand, they’re binding and protect both parties when holding up their end of their agreements. On the other hand, there is a potential for them to be unfair.
If you are looking to sign or create a contract, it’s best to work with your legal team, so you know if it will be binding in the future and if you’ll be protected against anyone challenging it.