On a second appeal in the case, the Ninth Circuit holds that a settlement agreement between the parties to this case was unenforceable as it violated B&P Code 16600 by imposing a substantial restriction on Golden’s practice of his profession as a doctor by providing that Golden could be fired from working with any hospital with which CEP had a contract (even if in a practice unassociated with Golden’s) or if CEP later acquired rights in the hospital.  Especially since CEP had rights in 160 hospitals and about 30% of the market for emergency room physicians, that restriction was substantial.  It violated section 16600 and invalidated the entire settlement agreement since it was an essential term of the agreement.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Bates, J.; Smith, M., J., dissenting); July 24, 2018; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20519