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ABM Industry Groups, LLC v. Palmarozzo, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-035-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1784CV00819-BLS2 ____________________ ABM INDUSTRY GROUPS, LLC v. JOSEPH PALMAROZZO and COMPASS FACILITY SERVICES, INC. ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION ABM Industry Groups, LLC, seeks a preliminary injunction that would enforce restrictive covenants signed by Joseph Palmarozzo while he was working for ABM as a branch manager. ABM provides janitorial and building maintenance services at larger facilities and projects. It is a large, publicly-traded company that generates roughly $ 5 billion in annual revenues. Palmarozzo left ABM in December 2016 to become the general manager at Compass Facility Services, Inc., a much smaller company that generates around $ 15 million in annual revenues by providing janitorial services at relatively small facilities. Palmarozzo overseas CFS’s operations; he has no responsibility for and no role in sales. ABM seeks an order that would bar Palmarozzo from working for CFS, compel Palmarozzo to comply with the non-competition and non-solicitation covenants in his ABM employment contract, and bar him from using or divulging any confidential information belonging to ABM. The Court will DENY the motion for a preliminary injunction because ABM has not proved that it will likely succeed in proving that its non-competition agreement with Mr. Palmarozzo is enforceable or that Palmarozzo has violated his non-solicitation or non-disclosure agreements. 1. Legal Standards. 1.1. Motions for Preliminary Injunction. “A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008). To the contrary, “the significant remedy of a preliminary injunction should not be granted unless the plaintiffs had made a clear showing of entitlement thereto.” Student No. 9 v. Board of Educ., 440 Mass. 752, 762 (2004). “Trial judges have broad discretion to grant or deny injunctive relief.” Lightlab Imaging, Inc. v. Axsun Technologies, Inc., 469 Mass. 181, 194 (2014). – 2 – A plaintiff is not entitled to preliminary injunctive relief if it cannot prove that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its claim. See, e.g., Fordyce v. Town of Hanover, 457 Mass. 248, 265 (2010) (vacating preliminary injunction on this ground); Wilson v. Commissioner of Transitional Assistance, 441 Mass. 846, 858-859 (2004) (same). Nor may a plaintiff obtain a preliminary injunction without proving that it will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of such an order, and that such harm to the plaintiff from not granting the preliminary injunction would outweigh any irreparable harm that defendants are likely to suffer if the injunction issues. See, e.g., American Grain Products Processing Institute v. Department of Pub. Health, 392 Mass. 309, 326-329 (1984) (vacating preliminary injunction on this ground); Nolan v. Police Comm’r of Boston, 383 Mass. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 4, 2017 at 1:58 pm

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