Restrictive Covenants / Non-Compete Agreements: Court Declines to Enter Preliminary Injunction – No Irreparable Harm Demonstrated

In De Lage Landen v. Thomasian, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62639 (E. D. Pa. May 1, 2013) (Buckwalter, S. J.), the Defendant employee entered into an Employee Agreement with Restrictive Covenants and voluntarily terminated his employment with his former employer, one month after he had accepted an offer to work for a new employer, CoActiv. The employee admittedly breached his Employee Agreement by giving his former employer’s laptop and security credentials to his new employer which he subsequently returned. The Court declined to enter a preliminary injunction, finding that the plaintiff failed to prove irreparable harm (the difficulty in showing that damages can only be adequately compensated by granting an injunction”).

While the court found that the defendant breached a non-solicitation agreement by encouraging one of his former employer’s employees to work for CoActiv, the new employer; Coactive does not compete with the former employer on a national basis and the two companies “are not presently in the same ballpark.” In addition, the Defendant employee’s office was 40 miles from any of his former employer’s regional offices and the employee has not solicited former customers.

Even though the court found that the employee violated the Agreement and acceded to the terms of the Agreement including a provision for injunctive relief, the court declined to enter an injunction because there was no irreparable harm which “compensation in money alone cannot atone.” Ultimately, the court reasoned that “(th)e problem with plaintiff’s case is that it has offered nothing concrete to show what effect defendant’s leaving has had to date.”

For more information on Restrictive Covenants, Non-Compete Agreements and Abramson Employment Law, see

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Filed under Non-Compete Agreements, Restrictive Covenant

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