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Future St. Ltd. v. Big Belly Solar, LLC

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

July 31, 2020, Decided; July 31, 2020, Filed

Civil Action No. 20-cv-11020-DJC

Opinion

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

CASPER, J.

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Future Street Limited ("Future Street") has filed this lawsuit against Big Belly Solar ("Big Belly") for breach of contract and violation of Mass. Gen. L. c. 93A and seeks declaratory judgment, injunctive relief and damages in connection with its licensed distribution of Big Belly's solar-powered intelligent waste and recycling bins. D. 3. Future Street has moved for a preliminary injunction seeking to compel performance from Big Belly pursuant to the parties' licensing agreement and enjoin Big Belly from contacting Future Street's customers to inform them that Future Street is no longer [*2]  an authorized Big Belly distributor. D. 5 at 2. Big Belly has filed a counterclaim against Future Street asserting various claims, D. 26, and a cross motion for a preliminary injunction enforcing its right to terminate its licensing agreement with Future Street and mandating compliance with the post-termination provisions of that agreement. D. 28 at 20. For the reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES Future Street's motion, D. 5, but ALLOWS Big Belly's motion, D. 28, to the extent explained in this Memorandum and Order.

II. Standard of Review

Preliminary injunctive relief "is an 'extraordinary and drastic remedy.'" Voice of the Arab World, Inc. v. MDTV Med. News Now, Inc., 645 F.3d 26, 32 (1st Cir. 2011) (quoting Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674, 689-90, 128 S. Ct. 2207, 171 L. Ed. 2d 1 (2008)). To obtain such relief, the Court must consider: (1) the movant's likelihood of success on the merits; (2) the risk of the movant suffering irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief; (3) the balance of equities; and (4) whether granting the injunction is in the public interest. Corp. Techs., Inc. v. Harnett, 731 F.3d 6, 9 (1st Cir. 2013). Likelihood of success on the merits is the "main bearing wall of this framework." W Holding Co. v. AIG Ins. Co.-Puerto Rico, 748 F.3d 377, 383 (1st Cir. 2014) (quoting Ross-Simons of Warwick, Inc. v. Baccarat, Inc., 102 F.3d 12, 16 (1st Cir. 1996)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Irreparable harm, on the other hand, is measured "on a sliding scale, working in conjunction with a moving party's likelihood of success on the merits, [*3]  such that the strength of the showing necessary on irreparable harm depends in part on the degree of likelihood of success shown." Gedeon v. City of Springfield, No. 16-cv-30054-MGM, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 217105, 2017 WL 4212334, at *8 (D. Mass. Feb. 24, 2017) (quoting Braintree Labs., Inc. v. Citigroup Glob. Mkts., Inc., 622 F.3d 36, 42-43 (1st Cir. 2010)). The movant "bears the burden of establishing that these four factors weigh in [its] favor." Esso Standard Oil Co. (P.R.) v. Monroig-Zayas, 445 F.3d 13, 18 (1st Cir. 2006).

III. Factual Background

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136999 *

FUTURE STREET LIMITED, Plaintiff, v. BIG BELLY SOLAR, LLC, Defendant.

CORE TERMS

termination, injunctive, notice, warranty, irreparable, customers, non-payment, license, declaratory, pandemic, prevail, post-termination, outstanding, invoices, past-due, verified, succeed