What rights do I have if I merged with another medical practice 2 1/2 years ago and brought furniture and medical equipment but am now going out on my own?

I brought the items on a hand shake agreement. I am now leaving the practice and opening my own solo practice. However, I am being refused taking my medical equipment back with me? Is there anything I can do?

Asked on September 26, 2014 under Business Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends entirely on the terms of the agreement, even a "handshake" or unwritten agreement: if the agreement was that you retained ownership of the items and/or could take them if you split off, they would be yours, for example. On the other hand, if the items were part of your investment into the practice and you are now voluntarily choosing to go out on your own, you might not be entitled to them. Of course, the agreement may not have contemplated or addressed what would happen in this situation; and/or you and the other person(s) may disagree as to what the agreement was. In those cases, you'd have to go to court to get a resolution. Given that litigation (a lawsuit) to recover these items could be expensive, distracting, and may not be successful, your best bet may be to try to negotiate some acceptable price to purchase back anything you really want.

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