Walgreen Co. v. Sara Creek Prop. Co.

966 F.2d 273 (7th Cir. 1992)



The plaintiff who seeks an injunction has the burden of persuasion--damages are the norm, so the plaintiff must show why his case is abnormal. But when the issue is whether to grant a permanent injunction, not whether to grant a temporary one, the burden is to show that damages are inadequate, not that the denial of the injunction will work irreparable harm. Irreparable in the injunction context means not rectifiable by the entry of a final judgment. It has nothing to do with whether to grant a permanent injunction, which, in the usual case anyway, is the final judgment. The use of irreparable harm or irreparable injury as synonyms for inadequate remedy at law is a confusing usage. It should be avoided


Plaintiff, the anchor tenant in defendant landlord's shopping center, was going out of business and the defendant sought to lease the space to co-defendant competitor of plaintiff's, in violation of the exclusivity clause in plaintiff's lease. Plaintiff brought a diversity action for breach of contract against defendants. The trial court, holding that the plaintiff's damages remedy was inadequate, issued a permanent injunction precluding the landlord from leasing space in the shopping center to the competitor during the 10 years remaining on tenant's lease term. Defendant Landlord and competitor appealed. The court affirmed the judgment of the trial court issuing a permanent injunction preventing the landlord from leasing space in its shopping center to the tenant's competitor for the remainder of the tenant's lease term.



Was the granting of the injunction meritorious?




Plaintiff had an adequate remedy in damages for defendant's breach of the exclusivity clause. The court engaged in an extended discussion of the costs and benefits that must be weighed in deciding whether to grant an injunction, and determined that the trial court had engaged in a proper cost-benefit analysis. The injunction was within the bounds of permissible choice under the circumstances.

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