United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
SABRE INDUSTRIES INC.
L. HORNSBY MAG. JUDGE.
A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff Sabre Industries, Inc.'s
(“Sabre”) motion for preliminary injunction [Doc.
No. 2] against Defendant Joseph McLaurin
(“McLaurin”). A hearing was held on the motion on
August 15, 2019.
following reasons, the Motion for Preliminary Injunction is
GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
alleges that it is a producer of engineered products used for
electric transmission and distribution and wireless
telecommunications, offering a full range of engineered
towers, poles, structures, and related services. McLaurin
began his employment with Sabre on August 17, 2009, as a
Materials Manager. On February 1, 2013, McLaurin became the
Production Support Manager. In this position, he was
responsible for working with developing M2M, supporting
production, and helping with transportation.
1, 2014, McLaurin became the Director of Support Production.
In this position, he was responsible for converting incoming
purchase orders into casting schedules and driving a schedule
of shelters to production. He was in charge of the Production
Support Group (PSG) and was in charge of transportation.
about June 16, 2014, McLaurin entered into a Non-Disclosure,
Non-Solicitation, and Fair Competition Agreement with Sabre
(“the Agreement”). Sabre presented evidence the
consideration for McLaurin entering into the Agreement
included, among other things, continued employment and a $25,
000 bonus. According to Sabre, the Agreement was entered into
for the express purpose of, among other things, maintaining
certain confidential business information of Sabre and to
preserve Sabre's relationships with persons with whom it
August 16, 2014, McLaurin became the Director of Production
Reporting and Systems. In this position he ran the PSG and
worked with reporting production from scheduling to follow up
when products were shipped.
25, 2018, McLaurin moved into the position of Manager of
about August 15, 2018, McLaurin became the Temporary
Production Manager. In this position, he had a team of four
supervisors to drive the production schedule. He was in
charge of his team's safety, quality, and production. His
focus was on improving quoted work and building product to
quote. He worked with the M2M during the first part of his
move to Temporary Production Manager.
8, 2019, McLaurin's employment with Sabre was terminated.
Sabre contends he was terminated for cause.
his termination, McLaurin went to work for Module X
Solutions, L.L.C., (“MXS”), one of Sabre's
competitors. Sabre contends that McLaurin's acceptance of
employment with MXS is contrary to the Agreement. Sabre
further contends that McLaurin has used and disclosed
Sabre's Confidential Information, including, but not
limited to, Sabre's confidential and proprietary
information pertaining to its clients, their needs, and
Sabre's rates and fee structure for such clients, and is
using such information in an effort to compete unfairly with
Sabre for his own benefit and that of his new employer, MXS,
all in violation of the Agreement.
additionally contends that McLaurin has actively solicited
Sabre employees to accept employment with MXS and is using
confidential Sabre employee lists containing skill sets, pay
levels, and contact information to solicit Sabre employees,
again all in violation of the Agreement.
seeks damages for breach of contract and requests an
injunction restraining McLaurin from continuing to violate
on the other hand, contends that Sabre's motion for
injunctive relief should be denied because (1) the
non-competition provision of the Agreement is an unlawful
restraint on business or trade prohibited by La. R.S. 23:921
and thus unenforceable; (2) the non-solicitation provision of
the Agreement restrains the rights not only of McLaurin, but
other Sabre employees and is also a violation of La. R.S.
23:921; and, (3) Sabre has failed to allege anything more
than a speculative violation of the confidentiality provision
of the Agreement and must amend its complaint before any
request for affirmative or injunctive relief can be
26, 2019, the Court conducted a telephone conference with
counsel for the parties. During that conference, the Court
set a hearing on Sabre's request for a preliminary
injunction for August 15, 2019.
August 15, 2019, a hearing was conducted on Sabre's
request for a preliminary injunction. Sabre moves this Court
for a preliminary injunction ordering McLaurin to return of
all of Sabre's Proprietary Information in his possession,
ordering McLaurin to cease soliciting Sabre employees for
employment with MXS, and prohibiting and enjoining McLaurin
from continuing his employment with MXS.
support the motion, Sabre presented testimony from Thomas
Jagielski, its Vice-President and General Manager for Sabre
Industries Bossier City; Shannon Lee, its Supervisor of
Energy Storage Sabre Industries Bossier City; and Les Walton,
Electrical Lead, Energy Storage, Sabre Industries Bossier
City. Sabre also called McLaurin on cross.
presented testimony from Stephen L. Schoonover, founder of
both Sabre and MXS; Patricia Netherton, Director of Human
Resources and Hiring at MXS; and from himself.
Court is now prepared to rule on the motion for preliminary
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Motion for Preliminary Injunction
are four traditional criteria a party moving for a
preliminary injunction must satisfy: “(1) a substantial
likelihood that plaintiff will prevail on the merits, (2) a
substantial threat that plaintiff will suffer irreparable
injury if the injunction is not granted, (3) that the
threatened injury to plaintiff outweighs the threatened harm
the injunction may do to defendant, and (4) that granting the
preliminary injunction will not disserve the public
interest.” Canal Auth. Of State of Fla. v.
Callaway, 2d 567');">489 F.2d 567, 572 (5th Cir. 1974); see
also Glossip v. Gross, 2726');">135 S.Ct. 2726, 2736 (2015)
(“‘A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction
must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits,
that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence
of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in
his favor, and that an injunction is in the public
interest.'”) (quoting Winter v. Nat. Res. Def.
Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008)), reh'g denied,
20');">136 S.Ct. 20 (2015)). Because a preliminary injunction is
“an extraordinary remedy, ” it “should only
be granted if the movant has “clearly carried the
burden of ...