United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
PRECISION INDUSTRIAL CONTRACTORS, INC., a Washington corporation, Plaintiff,
JACK R. GAGE REFRIGERATION, INC., et al, Defendants.
B. Leighton United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Precision Industrial
Contractors, Inc.'s (“PIC”) Motion to Expand
this Court's Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause regarding
Preliminary Injunction [Dkt. #16].
Jack R. Gage Refrigeration, Inc. d/b/a/ Alpha Omega
Industrial; Christopher M. McClellan and Tami L. McClellan,
d/b/a CMC Consulting, LLC; and Jason Hoyt, oppose PIC's
motion, and filed their own Motion for Immediate Dissolution
of Temporary Restraining Order [Dkt. #55].
Court has reviewed the parties' various submissions
including legal memoranda and declarations, and has heard
oral argument. For the following reasons, the Motion for
Immediate Dissolution of Temporary Restraining Order [Dkt.
#55] is GRANTED and the Plaintiff's
Motion for Preliminary Injunction [Dkt. #16] is
entitled to a TRO or preliminary injunction, a party must
show that: (1) it is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) it
is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief; (3) the balance of equities tips in its
favor; and (4) an injunction is in the public interest.
Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 555
U.S. 7, 20 (2008).
Court has now had an opportunity to more closely examine
PIC's alleged facts, it has determined that they do not
provide sufficient support for PIC's allegations that
continuing injunctive relief is necessary.
the Court is not persuaded by the representations and
displays of trade secrets and silver bullets that gives PIC a
“leg up” on any bidding process. Anyone in the
industry for more than a couple of years who submits a bid
for a job learns that they must inevitably account for the
rudiments of quality service, time and materials and the
contingencies, in order to be profitable. The defendants
profess that they took no unique or secret information from
PIC and they have not since applied such information in any
the real dispute between the parties is competition for the
allegiance and acceptance of the customer. PIC wants to shut
out the defendants from submitting bids to companies that
invited plaintiff (and defendants) to bid for their
work. The Employment Agreement's key language is found at
10. Non-Solicitation and Non-Servicing Employee agrees that
during the term of his/her employment hereunder and for a
period of one (1} year thereafter) Employee) shall not)
directly or indirectly, solicit or contact any customer
or client of Employer with a view to inducing or encouraging
such client or customer to discontinue or curtail any
business relationship with Employer within
territories in which Employer conducts
business, Employee further agrees that during
his/her employment hereunder, and for a period of one (1)
year thereafter", he/she will not, directly or
indirectly, request or advise any customer or client of
Employer to withdraw, curtail or cancel its
business with Employer, Employee further agrees
that during his/her employment hereunder, and for a period of
one (1) year thereafter) he/she will not} directly or
indirectly service any customer or client of Employer within
the Territory while in the course of engaging in any business
or undertaking that is in competition with the business of
Employer) i.e., any business or undertaking that is in the
business of hiring and supplying temporary personnel for
other companies, and will not, within the Territory) directly
or indirectly divert any business away from Employer.
Employee agrees that these provisions are necessary in order
to protect the goodwill of Employer and inside information
about Employer's operation.
[Dkt. # 56-1 at 3]
plain language of this provision suggests to an objective
reader that responding to an invitation to bid for new work
in a competitive bid situation does not fall within the
prohibited conduct. Defendants are not encouraging a customer
to discontinue or curtail any business relationship with the
Employer or request customer to cancel its business with the
Employer. Submitting a bid requested by a customer does not
necessarily require use of inside information about
Employer's operation or destroy the goodwill of the
there is a legitimate question about whether Hoyt's
employment agreement was signed before or after he began
working, and, if so, whether new consideration was provided
for the non-competition provisions.
McKinley Paper is not a customer of Precision.
Chris McClellan does not participate in any way with the
awarding of ...