Home Health Care Co. Sues After Non-Compete Violated

ACT Home Health Services, a Philadelphia-based home health care agency, alleged in an Eastern District of Pennsylvania complaint filed on Wednesday that claimed Sienneh Brooks-Louis, with whom it contracted with to be a nurse, broke a contract with it by continuing to serve the client it connected her to after leaving the company. 

Reportedly, ACT contracts with licensed nurses to help care for some of its clients, “using their own independent and professional judgment.” Because ACT wants to keep its contracts with clients and maintain goodwill, the nurses it contracts with are required to keep health information confidential and agree to a non-competition provision which requires them to not perform home-health nursing services within 30 miles of the office for a client they helped while hired by ACT. 

In the filing, ACT alleged that Brooks-Louis breached this contract. The defendant agreed to the contract with ACT in June 2020, and she left her position in April 2021 citing what ACT purported was a false emergency requiring her to travel to Africa. Shortly after this, the client Brooks-Louis was treating cancelled services with ACT, and ACT later learned that the defendant was providing care for the same client under a competing agency. 

ACT explained that its client contracts are “valuable and unique assets” and are confidential. The plaintiff said it sent a cease and desist letter and requested that the defendant comply by July 16, but the filing alleged the defendant never responded. 

Further, ACT claimed that the nurse benefited from its efforts because she was able to be enriched by continuing to work with the client that it had acquired. The company alleged it will be harmed because of the competition caused by the defendant’s breach of the non-competition agreement. Specifically it claimed it is losing a gross revenue of about $2,396.25 each week because of Brooks-Luis’ actions. 

The complaint alleged counts of breach of contract and unjust enrichment, and sought an injunction stopping the defendant from performing services for the same clients within one year of when she left ACT. 

ACT is represented by Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP