Judge Dismisses Some, But Not All, Of SBS Suit Against Grupo Radio Centro In 'El Raton' Case
May 26, 2016 at 4:27 AM (PT)
U.S. District Court Judge BEVERLY REID O'CONNELL granted part of GRUPO RADIO CENTRO's motion to dismiss SPANISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM's lawsuit over GRC's alleged poaching of MARTIN ROMERO HERNANDEZ ("EL RATON") from SBS' Regional Mexican KLAX (97.9 LA RAZA)/LOS ANGELES for GRC's Regional Mexican KXOS (RADIO CENTRO 93.9)/LOS ANGELES but did not dismiss the case.
O'CONNELL ruled that SBS' "fidelity clause" barring even entertaining a competing employment offer is void under state law and also voiding a clause barring HERNANDEZ from hiring his former co-workers but held that the latter clause is valid to the extent that it barred HERNANDEZ from making first contact with the former staffers. The ruling on the motion also concluded that SBS' right of first refusal to match the contract was invalid and a waiver of jury trial was also void, and dismissed SBS' claim that HERNANDEZ induced his former co-workers to breach their contracts.
However, O'CONNELL, citing severability clauses in the contract, declined to void the entire contract and said that some of the remaining elements, including the claim of intentional interference and that HERNANDEZ was not an at-will employee, remain valid, and the dismissal of the inducement claim was made without prejudice, with the plaintiff having until JUNE 8th to file an amended complaint.