United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING MOTION
TO DISSOLVE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
Charles Eskridge, United States District Judge
the Court is a motion filed by Defendant Alicia Knox to
dissolve the agreed preliminary injunction. Dkt 26. Upon
consideration, the Court denies the motion.
case concerns alleged misappropriation of confidential
business information and trade secrets. Plaintiffs Total
Safety U.S. Inc and Total Safety Onsite Services Inc
(together, Total Safety) assert that Knox misappropriated
their confidential business information and trade secrets.
They also allege that Knox violated the terms of her
nonsolicitation agreement with her former employer, Airgas
On-Site Safety Services Inc. Total Safety Onsite Services
acquired Airgas in May 2019. Dkt 1 at 2.
24, 2019, Total Safety commenced this lawsuit against Knox,
asserting violations of the Trade Secrets Act and the
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, misappropriation of trade
secrets under Texas law, and breach of contract. Id.
at 10-16. Total Safety also sought preliminary injunctive
relief. Id. at 16-17.
than require hearing, Total Safety and Knox agreed to a
preliminary injunction to avoid unnecessary costs and fees.
Dkt 12-1 at 1. On July 30, 2019, the Court entered the agreed
preliminary injunction. Dkt 13. Broadly, this injunction
requires Knox to:
o Refrain from destroying, disclosing, or accessing evidence
that may be relevant to the lawsuit;
o Refrain from directly or indirectly soliciting any customer
of Total Safety or Airgas in violation of the nonsolicitation
o Produce certain electronic devices for inspection and
parties agree that Knox has complied with the third
November 1st, Knox filed a motion to dissolve the agreed
preliminary injunction. Dkt 26. On December 5th, the Court
held a status conference and heard argument on the motion. At
the conference, the Court ordered Knox to file her reply,
which she did on December 12th. Dkt 33.
parties dispute the correct standard by which to modify or
dissolve a preliminary injunction. Total Safety asserts that
Knox must establish a “significant change in
circumstances” to justify revision. Dkt 29 at 5. To the
contrary, Knox asserts that the same standard applies to
review of a motion to dissolve an injunction as it does to
the decision whether to grant one in the first instance. Dkt
26 at 6. In her recent reply, Knox alternatively asserts that
the Court should reconsider the preliminary injunction under
FRCP 54(b). Dkt 33 at 6.
Rule 54(b), a district court may reconsider and revise its
prior decision for any reason deemed sufficient, even in the
absence of new evidence or an intervening change in or
clarification of the substantive law. Austin v Kroger
Texas, LP, 864 F.3d 326, 336 (5th Cir 2017). This
reflects “the ‘inherent power of the rendering
district court to afford such relief from interlocutory
judgments as justice requires.'” Id. at
337, quoting Cobell v Jewell, 802 F.3d 12, 25-26 (DC
Cir 2015). But here, Knox voluntarily agreed to the
preliminary injunction in the first instance, which avoided
establishing any factual predicate as to underlying conduct