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A preliminary injunction is extraordinary relief and should only be granted upon a clear showing by the plaintiff.
Plaintiff, Daniel J. Taylor, was an employee with defendant company, Cordis. As a condition precedent to his employment, he signed an agreement. The defendant’s products line which plaintiff was authorized to sell included heart pacemakers, pacemaker lead introducers and vascular catheters. Plaintiff received technical trainings on such products during his employment. When he resigned from the defendant company, it was shown that on the next day, plaintiff promoted new medical products of another company. Plaintiff filed a complaint for a declaratory judgment that a non-competition agreement in his contract of employment with defendant was void and unenforceable. Following a hearing, a temporary restraining order enjoined plaintiff from soliciting or contacting any customer, client or lead with whom he had contact during his employment with the defendant. Defendant counterclaimed for a preliminary injunction to enforce the agreement, and to extend the relief granted in the temporary restraining order.
Was the issuance of preliminary injunction proper?
The court is of the opinion that the issuance of a preliminary injunction is necessary to protect the defendant. The court recognized that the development of the defendant’s goodwill among physicians in Mississippi was due in no small part to the efforts and ability of the plaintiff. Plaintiff brought to defendant over eleven years of experience in medical supplies sales. It cannot be denied with any candor that plaintiff also brought with him to defendant the foundational relationships with many Mississippi physicians which directly led to sales of defendant’s products. The court then attempted to reform and limit the non-competition agreement to reflect a truer balance between the plaintiff's interest in professional credibility and the defendant's interest in maintaining the legitimate goodwill developed on its behalf and at its expense. It appears, however, that plaintiff is in a position to lure the former defendant’s customers to other products which he, in fact, has done so since leaving the defendant.