October 11, 2006
AN APPEAL FROM PULASKI COUNTY
[No. CV 04-8586]
HONORABLE JAMES MOODY,
TERRY CRABTREE, Judge
Appellee Phillip Cohen sued his former employer, appellant Continental Carbonic
Products, for breach of contract for nonpayment of stock options after his employment
terminated. The jury found in favor of Cohen. Continental appeals, contending that the trial
court erred in failing to grant its motions for directed verdict and for judgment
notwithstanding the verdict and that the trial court erred in admitting evidence to the effect
that Continental could not demonstrate any financial harm as a result of Cohen’s employment
with a competitor. We affirm.
Continental manufactures and sells dry ice for use in many different applications.
Although the manufacture of dry ice is its primary product line, Continental also sells
blasting equipment for use in the cleaning of industrial equipment. In 1991, Cohen became
employed by Continental as a salesman. In accepting this position, Cohen signed non-
competition agreements with Continental and its subsidiary Dixie Carbonic, Inc. (Dixie).
The relevant terms of these agreements had the effect of prohibiting Cohen from going to
work for a competitor who sold competitive products within a seventy-five-mile radius of
any Continental facility for a two-year period following termination of employment with
Continental. On May 17, 2002, Cohen submitted his two-week notice, effectively resigning
from Continental as of May 31, 2002. Pursuant to the express terms of the non-competition
agreements, Cohen would be prohibited from going to work for a competitor through
May 31, 2004.
During his employment with Continental, Cohen received certain stock options. Upon
terminating his employment with Continental, Cohen exercised those options. On May 24,