Megan C. Deluhery and Stesha A. Emmanuel persuaded a Massachusetts Superior Court judge to deny a preliminary injunction request by Elizabeth Grady skin care salons that, if granted, would have shut down a single location day spa.
The firm's client – a former employee of Elizabeth Grady – purchased a day spa located nine miles from her former employer. The plaintiff alleged she, and another former employee who went to work at the spa, signed an employment agreement barring them from working in a similar business within a 25-mile radius of the salon where they had worked.
The judge denied the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction, finding that Elizabeth Grady had failed to produce any evidence that its former employees took any proprietary information, were soliciting clients of the plaintiff, or were using the plaintiff's good will with customers to their competitive advantage.
"There being no evidence that the defendants are possessed of or exploiting bona fide trade secrets, confidential information, or customer good will belonging to the Company, it is evident that Elizabeth Grady’s true motivation is to thwart ordinary competition from conventionally skilled service providers," the judge wrote in this ruling. "This is not permissible."
The judge also found that the plaintiff failed to introduce any evidence of immediate harm if the firm’s client remained in business, and by contrast shutting down the client's business even temporarily would cripple the business venture.
Ms. Deluhery is a partner at the firm. She concentrates her trial practice on employment disputes among other litigation matters. Ms. Emmanuel, an associate at the firm, works on employment law matters as part of her civil litigation practice.